Any one who knows anything about sky diving or parachute jumping understands the importance of the question “Who’s packing your parachute?” When you use a parachute, your life literally depends on how the chute was packed. Who the packer is and how diligent they are in packing that parachute is of vital importance to the jumper. There is no room for error.
As we go through life, we have many situations in which something important to us has been handled by someone else. What they do for us is vitally important to our business, our job, our livelihood or us and our family. How do we respond to those people? Do we take them for granted or do we find appropriate ways in which to show them how much we appreciate them and what they do?
It is always appropriate to say “Thank You!” when someone does something to help us or does something special for us. Showing appreciation is one of the highest forms of respect we can show each other.
We all like it when some one recognizes something we have said or done. Appreciation is a matter of common courtesy, but it is also a wise decision to make. Recognize what someone does for you with a word or some other act of appreciation. It is just good common sense to be thankful.
These are some key things about showing appreciation you might find helpful.
Appreciation must be sincere and timely. An immediate, heart felt thank you is deeply appreciated. Don’t save it up for some annual event. It won’t have much value if you do. It should be expressed as soon after the achievement as possible. Show appreciation frequently. Appreciation has a short shelf-life. People can quickly feel that they are not appreciated if you fail to thank them. Years ago I had an experience in which my boss carried my Christmas $50 bonus around in his brief case until the end of February. You can imagine how I felt about that expression of appreciation when I finally received it!
Make it personal. Appreciation is valued by everyone who receives it whether it is in the form of a note card, flowers, dinner out or a simple “Thanks! I appreciate you and what you have done for me.” Personalize your expression of thanks to fit the person and the reason you are saying “Thanks!” Not everyone will appreciate the same expression of appreciation. Know your people well enough to understand what it is that will make your appreciation meaningful to them. Always attach the person’s name to it. Give it to them personally.
Be honest in your expression of appreciation. Don’t assume that anyone knows that you are appreciative. But don’t show it when you don’t feel it.
There is never a valid excuse for not showing appreciation. A failure to express appreciation is a failure of etiquette. Miss Manners would be disappointed in our lapse of good manners if we fail to express appropriate appreciation.
Be aware of what others are doing for you. Do you have someone “packing your parachute”? If you do, then your life or your livelihood depends on how well they do it for you. Show them how much you appreciate them personally and what they do for you. As you do, they will take even better care of you in your on-going relationship with them.
Show appreciation frequently and in a timely manner. As I mentioned previously, appreciation has a limited shelf life. I am reminded of the old farmer whose wife wasn’t feeling like he loved her anymore. When she said something about it to him, he responded, “Well, I told you I loved you before we married. And I haven’t changed my mind about it.” The problem of course, was that she would have appreciated being told and shown often that the love was still there. So it is with appreciation. Show it often. You can find a variety of ways to say “Thank You” or “I appreciate you.”
Just do it! And when you do, you will find that you will feel better about things and so will those who have been on the receiving end of your expression of appreciation.
At West Suburban Office Products we do appreciate you and your business. Please let us know how we can assist you with the office supplies or business products you need to run your business efficiently.
Dennis R. Gleason
West Suburban Office Products