Image by Courtney Hedger (unsplash.com)

The world will be a better place if we all do this once a day

There is one universal rule that we as emotional human beings will never change with time or with technology development.

In everyday life, we may be taking a lot of things people do for us for granted.

Be it the morning coffee that are made for us when we wake up.

Be it the person who let you through the long queue to get into the subway during the busy morning commute.

Be it the work that someone took the time to review for you.

Be it the senior managers that took time to attend a meeting that you organised.

Be it the friend who helped organise a group dinner whilst everyone is busy with their daily schedule.

And so on and so forth.

What you’d notice is that things are done for us almost everywhere!

Some of us believes that when we have paid money for a service, the buyer has the right to demand for all that they could possibly ask for in a shop, however I don’t plan to start a raging war on this!

When things are done for you, did you say thank you? Indeed I suppose most of you did.

I am the kind of person who would say thank you even when a stranger holds the door in front of me at a shopping mall.

I consider myself as being fairly polite when it comes to manners.

But, when was the last time you went further than just saying thank you?

And let’s be more precise — when was the last time you showed appreciation to someone when they have done things for you?

By appreciation, I mean acknowledging the fact that things are done for you and that you are truly thankful to this person.

For example, when I lead a meeting at work I’d always start the meeting by thanking the attendees for taking their time. To make it personal, I’d say this is because I understand everyone has an extremely busy schedule so I will attempt to make the meeting as precise and short as possible so that everyone could get on with their work sooner.

Another example is when a friend is helping to organise a gathering for a group of people. In most cases it can get frustrating because not everyone responds promptly and not everyone can make themselves available 100% of the times, and that’s even before a location, venue is decided! This “organiser” is doing this voluntarily and obviously does not want to become stressful, so when the organising gets messy, I’d step-in by pushing the other guys to respond together with suggestions on the food/venue. Once finalised, I’d thank the friend, in front of everyone for organising this event. This way the organiser does not feel alone and feels truly appreciated.

Even in a job interview, I’d begin the conversation by thanking the interviewer for spending their time to meet me in person.

These, I’d consider appreciation.

Maybe we could take this opportunity to think for a moment, when was the last time we showed genuine appreciation to someone when they have done things for us.

It all goes back to the first sentence of this blog — There is one universal rule that we as emotional human beings will never change with time or with technology development. It is that:

We all want to be appreciated and be treated fairly with respect.

This is absolutely applicable to all our relationships, whether this is in the workplace, with friends or with families.

We are a bit “selfish” in showing appreciation sometimes, this is because we take a lot of things for granted and that many things may seem “effortless” nowadays with technology, or because you are “paid” to do this.

There are indeed techniques in showing appreciation, and today I would like to share how you could demonstrate appreciation so that all your relationships will improve today, and going forward.

Not only you’d make yourself much more popular among people, you would also be remembered and thanked for this.

Aren’t these what you want from any relationship?

  1. Make it personal

By making a thank you note personal, the listener would definitely know you have given it some thoughts and it will sound genuine.

Take your time in crafting that short speech.

One example of showing personalised appreciation that works really well is by saying thank you in person, so in the workplace, walk to the person’s desk and say thank you for what the person did for you.

Stay at the desk for a while to have a conversation and show interests to what the person has been working on.

2. Mention people by their names

I believe this is one of the most underrated point when it comes to thanking others for what they have done.

When people are mentioned by their names, not only it catches their attention, it also show that the thank you note is sincere.

“Thank you for making this possible”

“Thank you Sam for making this possible”

This just make the thank you note extra special to the person receiving this.

This is particularly effectively when the thank you note is said in front of other audiences because the message becomes much more powerful. This is similar to tagging someone’s name in Social Media, and you don’t need me to tell you how happy people get when their name get mentioned in your post right?

3. Give them a reason and tell them how it helped you

Why and how did the person make your life better by offering his/her helping hand?

By telling them the reason and how it helped you, you are effectively showing them your emotions and true self.

People can feel it when it happens because it is genuine. It also personalise the message.

Let me give you an example:

“Thank you Sam for making this possible, the information in this blog really helped me understand how I could improve my relationships going forward.”

4. Return the favour

Indeed, sometimes it is not enough just thanking the person, if it is feasible and does not take up a considerable amount of your time, I would suggest you to offer a favour in return.

It doesn’t need to be life-changing, nor it needs to be something so special that the person needs to remember.

In fact it doesn’t even need to happen, you just need to give them the option of accepting your return favour.

This could be as simple as “Can I offer you a coffee in return next time when you are around” or “Can I help you on this thing when you need it”

Giving and receiving — the balance of life.


Final words:

Treat people the way you want to be treated.

I have a dream — it is that if we could all show our appreciation to the persons closest to us, who have looked after us, nurtured us and guided us when we were once lost.

Thank people for what they did, in person. The world would become better place.