Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Appreciation is fuel

At work today, I had a meeting regarding the assembly of a small team and the roles of each of its members including me. In this meeting, I received a lot of thanks, heartfelt thanks, genuine thanks. 

Refueling thanks.

I was reminded that sometimes, all it takes is a couple of genuine thank-yous from the right person to the right person to render an individual engaged, inspired, refueled. In my work history there have been countless situations where I've had to run my engine dry. I did what I had to do with the combination of orders and resources given me. But my form and function suffered for a lack of energy. Energy that is abundantly found in the giving of gratitude.

It baffles me how we can get so caught up in the extinguishing of fires, the satisfying of customers, the meeting of financial obligations and forget the simple act of thanking the person sitting next to you. Like that guy in the next cube that wordsmiths your mass emails before a potentially embarrassing distribution takes place. Or that woman at the adjacent workstation who happily takes on a bit of your workload so that both of your days can end on time. Nothing should be so important that an opportunity to give thanks is missed. 

I'm now fortunate to be in a work environment where I am surrounded by thanks and praises that are scantly superseded by three alarm fires. It is both taught and practiced amongst managers to take the moments found in the day to let your team members know how much you appreciate the hard work and creativity they put into the expectations they're charged with meeting everyday. Offering thanks regularly is the sort of investment of time and emotion that, for a manager, yields a far greater return on investment than most anticipate. 

Just say thank you.

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