We often carry a pre-conceived image of a business man or woman in our mind, and more often than not that image is of someone who is smart, keen-minded, no-nonsense, highly-practical, and basically down-to earth.
We admire business people for their leadership, their success, and even for their ability to inspire and motivate themselves or others to achieve results. But sometimes it is difficult to picture any business person as someone who says “thank you”.
Gratitude may seem like something not often given in the hectic and cut-throat world of serious business. From early childhood we are taught to say thank you to our elders and peers when we are given anything, or have something done for us. But in the grown-up business world, it can seem odd to show our gratitude for anything.
There are many ways we as caring and respective adults can show our gratitude in a business or professional workplace. If you use it correctly, and with the right intention and attitude, you will certainly be able to improve your working relationships, and help to create a more pleasant atmosphere at work.
Never EVER consider using gratitude as a sneaky tool to manipulate your workmates. Your techniques and intentions will quickly become transparent, and you will end up being viewed as insincere, and someone that cannot be trusted.
It takes two words. That is all. Two simple words “thank you”. Saying thank you when people do things for you shows that you appreciate their help, no matter how small the task. These can be the two most valuable words in your vocabulary, and also the most effective.
Let’s say you have a pressing deadline at work, and you need to work after hours into the evening to get the job done. You could do with some help, but you don’t want to pressure anyone to stay behind and help you. Who is more likely to offer you some help when they see you struggling?
- A) The assistant you constantly ignore and take completely for granted, or
- B) The assistant that you thank often for bringing you coffee and sorting out your files
What if you are part of a team that is split across different offices or departments. You are all links in a very important chain, so even if you have never met ‘Shaun from Accounts’ who finalises all of your invoices, it would not hurt to send him a quick email to say “thank you”.
The next time you need to process an invoice really quickly to meet a deadline, or secure a better price, Shaun may be more than willing to help you out by prioritising your invoices over others for that day.
Share and share alike
Traditionally the festive season can bring in a lot of business gifts from clients and customers. These are often sent as a token of gratitude to you for your work, to wish you happy holidays, or to show appreciation of your ongoing business relationship.
Sometimes these gifts can be personalised, and are given specifically with you in mind. Being given an engraved charm for your bracelet, or a personalised mug with your name on it for your tea is one thing, but a box of your favourite chocolates is quite another.
Gifts that can be shared should be shared. After all, if you are part of a team and some members of your team never get to meet clients or customers face to face, it doesn’t mean that they are no less deserving of some chocolates or a flower arrangement for a job well done. Sharing out gifts is a great way to show your gratitude to your workmates, and is best done with some thought behind it. You would never give chocolates to someone who is diabetic or allergic, so choose something a little more thoughtful to gift.
In summary, what I have said here is not earth shattering, or in any way shocking. It is just a gentle way to introduce some gratitude into your working life, and hopefully making your working environment a little more pleasant for everyone. Gratitude given graciously and genuinely can be a very powerful motivator for both yourself and your colleagues.
Thank you for reading.