Why 'Thank you' matters for leadership teams

Thank you

Why does a thank you matter? What difference does appreciation make? Why would a leadership team need appreciation?

We’re on the second day of a workshop with a CEO and his Leadership Team. We’ve just completed the appreciation round. Something we often do with teams that we work with. As is always the way, the good feeling in the room is palpable. Silence descends in the room as the last appreciation ended. People sit in quiet reflection, impacted by the words of their colleagues. Each person has received a heartfelt appreciation from every one of their colleagues. What people are grateful for, thankful for about every person. All sit quiet for several minutes. 

The first person speaks. Followed by others in the team. The words spoken are of the same nature that we always hear:

“I never knew what my colleagues thought of me. I didn’t know that the things I do have such a positive impact on others. I feel really affirmed. I feel reassured that I’m doing the right thing and this will help me to keep on doing it. It’s boosted my confidence. I feel much better hearing what my colleagues appreciate about me. I always question myself, thinking that others see the worst in me, now I don’t need to question myself so much. I think I’m not good enough, I’m so grateful to hear that my colleagues don’t think that. Hearing what my colleagues see that I’m good at – you can’t put a price on that. I feel reenergized, to go back and put in more effort.” 

We hear these comments and more, over and over again. Without fail they always say “We must do this more often.”

Sometimes people find it hard to hear the appreciation through the noise of their own self judgement, self criticism, self doubt. They question the veracity of the feedback. Always something slips under their guard. They get a boost to their confidence, they feel a thrust to move forward.

Appreciation makes such a big difference to people and their motivation. It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. It doesn’t have to be about anything big. It just needs to be heartfelt. 

I’m often surprised (but not) about some of the apparently tiny things that people are grateful for. (Just the fact that someone takes the time to say good morning, every morning is often cited)

A heartfelt thank you says “I see you. You’re important. You make a difference.”  We all want to know that we’re making a difference. We do what we do, hoping to make a difference. It’s nice to hear confirmation from others that we do.

If someone says a heartfelt thank you to you. What does it do for you? How do you feel?

I know how it makes me feel. Recently I received an emailed letter of appreciation for my book (Coaching Presence). That letter gave me a boost. It affirmed that the time, effort, self doubt, perserverance, that occurred while I wrote the book was worthwhile. It answered the question - did my book make a difference? Yes it did make a difference. That letter was perfectly timed. I’ve just embarked on writing another book. That letter reignited my passion, my motivation to do it, to go through the ups and downs that I know are ahead of me. Knowing that it has the potential to make a difference to one person, I feel uplifted and spurred to go on. That’s what appreciation does for me.

If it makes you feel good, spurs you on, why wouldn’t it do the same for someone else? Who would you like to make feel that way? Who are you going to appreciate today?  

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you’ve found it useful. If you’ve shared or liked this article I thank you and appreciate you for doing so.    

This entry was posted in Article, tagged Leadership and posted on March 19, 2018

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