Holidays are an interesting phenomenon. They were once sacred days that the nation stopped to observe a great moment in the history of our nation, or our faith. Schools were out of session, business shut down, and everyone took the opportunity to stop and acknowledge the day.
Those times seem to be over. I mean, Thanksgiving almost seems like the prelude to Christmas thanks to the ever growing Black Friday push. And maybe some of these holidays should be examined for their true merit in today’s world. I’m not knowledgeable enough to debate that. I would, however, like to propose a holiday that would positively impact your world. It requires no days off work, no store discounts or sales, and has no unwritten dress code.
Why Should We Care? We should care because we suck at saying thank you. Kids do. Adults do. Professionals do. We’re not good at it. And, us not being good at it helps others not be good at it. So, we end up in a world with less appreciation for the good things that are happening and more contempt for the bad things that are happening.
What if we just took a day to intentionally share our appreciation? What if we committed to be intentional about thanking our janitorial staff? Our bus drivers? The fast food workers handing us our food?
We’re all about how contagious COVID is right now. Do we not realize how contagious positive actions can also be? Every time we share our appreciation for someone or something, we are more likely to find someone or something else we are thankful for. But more importantly, we are encouraging those around us to continue on by letting them know their work is appreciated.
Saying thank you lifts people. It makes their, and your, life better. All we have to do is say it.
REAL TALK - Action Steps Observing Thankful Thursday has become a highlight of my week. I always look forward to the 3 thank you cards I write on Thursday mornings. Occasionally it’s to someone that has helped me throughout the week, but more often than not I write to someone that may not realize I’m thankful for them - a former teacher, a friend I’ve thought about but haven’t talked to in awhile, a player ... You can’t go wrong.
Here are a few ways we observe Thankful Thursday with our team and in Leadership class.
Text / Snap 3 People
This is my least favorite, but that’s because I’m old. It’s quick and easy, but still accomplishes the goal: share your gratitude for someone else. Be sure to explain why you are grateful for this person, it will have much more impact that way. If they are completely shocked by your text, you may want to do a better job of letting them know how important they are to you!
Say Thank You
You can just never put a value on this. I notice people that do and don’t say thank you all the time. It’s like the old adage about how you treat the waiter at a restaurant. The same holds true for people that don’t say thank you. There’s something there, don’t ignore it. Whenever you have the opportunity, say thank you.
Write a Thank You card
My favorite approach, by far. I know it’s not the norm now, but the investment of time and intimacy of your handwritten thoughts is still the most powerful form of communication. For me, this trumps even being told face to face because I can always go back and read a thank you card. Think about yourself, which would you prefer - a text or a handwritten card? Exactly.
In addition to sending a text or writing a thank you note, we also do a Cold Call on Thursdays in our Leadership class. One person volunteers to call someone on the phone, put them on speaker, and tell them why they are thankful for this person. The reaction by the person receiving the call is always happy to have taken the call. It’s been a great way to show just how much sharing our appreciation means to those we share it with.
Thank You Video
This is another assignment for Leadership class, but it would be incredible in the corporate world or within your family. You write a thank you note to someone, 300 words is our guideline but a little over half a page is sufficient. Then, you record the recipient as you read the letter to them. Similar to the Cold Calls, this is such a great way to show how impactful your thank you is to others.
Having given it more thought, I would prefer Thankful Thursday to stay just how it is - reserved for those that see value in it and desire to lift those around them. I hope you’ll join me!
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com. We would love to know how we could help!