from sunrise to sunset. I rarely have those kinds of days anymore given the nature of how I make a living but it just worked out that way.
During one of the early meetings, it was obvious the boss was in a bad mood. There were milestones that had slipped to the right so there was some room for concern. Yet there was also a tremendous amount of progress being made. The tone in the meeting was all business, no room for personalizing the results and as a result, no room for thanks.
The meetings went on and on (four different groups in three cities) and what became very obvious was the body language of the participants with respect to the feedback they received. When the meeting leaders were organized and prepared, the meetings ran smoothly. People were on their toes and ready to respond. No surprises here.
But a noticeable theme consistent throughout this long day was how people responded to the response they received when reporting on their work. When John was thanked for his work, you could tell he understood that his boss understood just how hard he had worked. When Denise took constructive criticism on her work product, the criticism was delivered in a productive and encouraging way … “this is on the right track, but I know you’ll find a way to work with the team to make this a remarkable document.” When Janey took the brunt of the criticism for a late product delivery, it was delivered in such a way that it was hard to find a silver lining.
Upon leaving the meeting rooms, John and Denise bounced out, shoulders back and eyes bright; ready for the next challenge. Janey’s posture was more hunched over. Sort of bent up like a dog that had been beaten too much. She was looking for a place to hide.
Thanks does not have to be empty praise. It does not have to be mundane, repetitive, sappy or forced. Thanks can praise the effort while at the same time challenge the resulting work product. When thanks works, it benefits both parties and the organization. The giver understands they are in a better position because of the efforts of others. The receiver benefits by the heart felt acknowledgement of their efforts.
I’d venture to say you are not in the position you hold based solely on your own efforts … someone helped you along the way. Don’t forget to say thanks.