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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Positive Leadership: The Power of 'Thank You!'

Thank You!

There are two powerful words every leader needs to learn, know and use daily.  It doesn’t matter whether you lead a group of 2 or 200, these two words will change your team and the culture of your organisation.

When you express these words, generosity flows.  When you fail to use these words, it can send a negative message.  Its absence says, “I can accomplish the vision without you.  You don’t necessarily matter.  You are not essential.”

A leader is only as good as her people.  Just like a great coach is only as good as his players.  Do your players know you appreciate them?  Do they know without them nothing gets accomplished?

Thank you can change your team.  It can change the way your people come to work every day.  Your success is built on the hard work of others.  That’s a fact.  It’s true for every leader.

Are you grateful for their contribution and efforts? More important, do they know it?

Thank you helps a leader create a generous and grateful culture.  Everyone wants to be appreciated.  Everyone wants to know they matter.  Anyone can issue a salary cheque.  People want to know they make a difference.

Leaders set the tone and culture of an organisation.  If you want to have a generous and grateful culture, learn to say thank you often.  It’s free and has a huge ROI.

People don’t read minds.  If you don’t tell them they are appreciated, they may assume you don’t.  True or not, it carries a negative impact.

Five Simple Ways to Say Thank You

1. Details count.  Be specific with your thank you.  If you want impact, it’s in the details.  Don’t be vague and generic.  Be specific as to what they did and how it impacted the team, department or organisation.  Let them know you are grateful for their contribution and effort.

2. Let the public know.  When you give a “thank you” and praise in public, you create loyalty.  Your team will go through a wall for you.  Bragg about them in public and mean it.  It can have more impact than a monetary reward.

3. Be true and authentic.  If the “thank you” is not sincere, it doesn’t matter.  It has to be honest.  It can’t be over used and fake.  People will see through unauthentic praise.  It will have a negative impact.

4. Write it down.  People love to get encouraging notes.  Keep blank note cards in your desk or close by.  Every week, write someone on your team a thank you note.  Take a few minutes and write out a note.  Be specific and let them know what they did, how hard they work and what it means to the organisation.

5. Equal opportunity.  Your “thank you’s” need to reach the front lines.  The people who create and impact the bottom line.  Go deep down the organisational chart with the thank you.  It’s not just for high-level employees.  Practice equal opportunity praise.  Everyone makes a difference and helps you achieve your vision.  Let all of them know it.

There is tremendous power in thank you.  Create a culture of generosity and gratitude.  You are only as good as your people. They need to know it!


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