I was talking to a dear friend last night and during our conversation we shifted to saying thank you to each other. She remarked that someone she knew said of her that she cherishes their friendship because she always said a sincere “thank you” to others for what they had done for her or given her.
This caused me to pause and ask myself if I am that thoughtful?
The answer is yes. I make it a priority to thank my friends and family for their kindness. Without fail I express my thanks in a multitude of ways. It is important to me to say thank you and I always do.
Thank you is important for two reasons: 1) It displays a graciousness and consciousness of a kind act from someone else. It reminds you to be grateful – in all ways always and 2) It allows you to acknowledge and accept kind gestures from others.
Both reasons – being grateful and acceptance – form character and character forms the person. It is praiseworthy and important to be known for having the being of a good character.
“Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece by thought, choice, courage and determination.” ~John Luther
Let me share a few ways to say “thank you:”
1. Say it immediately after a compliment. Acknowledge the words with gracious gratitude. Your response may be just a simple thank you with a smile or you may bridge onto that compliment by saying something sincere and true about the other person.
2. The Post Foundation recommends writing a handwritten thank you note promptly after an interview, getting a gift, or after receiving an award. Handwritten notes are far more powerful than e-mail or text messages – it says that you took a little more time to write the note and that leaves an indelible impression.
3. Make a phone call. Call the person and talk about the gift, award, or kind gesture. Be sure to sit down and have a conversation rather than rush through the acknowledgment.
4. Send flowers or a small gift. Yes, it is appropriate to send flowers or a small, well chosen gift when you have gotten something that is important to you. Two years ago I needed an endorsement for my new book and I was given that endorsement without a fee attached from a powerful figure in my target field. Not only did I send an elaborate thank you note, I sent flowers to her office too. They were impressed so much that we still stay in touch. I have gained monetary and professional bonuses which exceeded the cost of the flowers from my kind act that extended beyond the usual to say thank you.
Thank you is important! You will get more back when you express your gratitude for the good will given to you by others.
Practice the habit of saying thank you. Be gracious, be sincere, be willing to open up and let others see your character.