Appreciation: A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way

By Kristen Harris

Quick, what are two words you can never overuse?

Thank. You.

My parents called thank you the “magic words”, and I still think they’re magical today. Showing a little appreciation goes a long way. It makes the world a nicer place, and never makes things worse.

Show gratitude by thanking people in a way that reflects the level of what they did for you. If it was a simple favor, a sincere thank you will suffice and is always appreciated. You can thank them in-person, via email, in a call, or with a handwritten note. Say thanks freely, and say it often.

Ten reasons to say Thank You more:

  1. It’s simple and easy.

  2. It’s free.

  3. It’s always positive; at the minimum, it never makes things worse.

  4. It makes the recipient feel good.

  5. It makes you feel good too!

  6. It’s only takes a second, or a few minutes at the most.

  7. It’s memorable and sets you apart from others who are not appreciative.

  8. No one dislikes being thanked or appreciated.

  9. It’s hard to misinterpret or take the wrong way.

  10. It reminds others to thank someone too, maybe you.

Appreciation is definitely a case where it’s the thought that counts. However, when you are really tuned into people, you’ll realize that we all respond to different expressions of appreciation. There are five key ways that people feel appreciation: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts, and Physical Touch. We each have preferences from this list, and tend to show appreciation to others in the way that WE prefer. The key is to show appreciation in the way that THEY prefer. That is when people start to really feel valued.

If someone went out of their way or did something very impactful for you, maybe they would appreciate a thoughtful gift. Depending upon the person, a short note or letter sharing how they helped, the impact it made, and how much you appreciate their help could also be affirming and meaningful to the recipient. Others really appreciate your time and would like to meet you for lunch or would love it if you helped them with something in exchange. And yes, some people do like physical touch, and that is when a workplace-appropriate gesture like a handshake or high-five can make the difference in how one of your colleagues feels valued.

When you show appreciation to others, it comes back tenfold. If you’re saying thank you and genuinely appreciating what people have done for you, others will show appreciation to you as well. It feels good, and who doesn’t love a few seconds of feeling good? Thank someone today and bask in the glow!