Thanksgiving is drawing near and, unsurprisingly, the main theme that comes up around this time of year is being thankful… thankful for delicious food, good company, a warm place to sleep, the list could go on and on. We all lead busy lives, so Thanksgiving is a great day to help us truly remember what we are grateful for. What we may be missing, however, is the importance of shifting that thankfulness over to those around us as well.
Studies have shown that being thankful can have many positive benefits, including boosting positive emotions, strengthening relationships and even improving physical health. People are more likely to help someone out a second or third time if they are thanked for their help the first time around.
This Thanksgiving, spend some time showing others how much you appreciate them with these four options:
#1: Go old-school and write a letter. Thank-you letters are a classic and often unexpected way of thanking someone, especially in our digital age where it’s much faster to simply fire off an email. There’s something exciting and heartwarming about receiving a tangible, handwritten note from someone in the mail. If you’re writing a thank-you card to a customer or prospect, be sure to include a business card and use branded stationery if possible. Keep the message short, ensuring to mention details of how they impacted you and why you appreciate them. Here are some quick tips and examples if you find yourself having writer’s block.
#2: Say it with food. The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach! Show someone you care by taking them out to lunch or dinner. Conversations over good food usually bring out the best in us, allowing us to connect in ways that really aren’t available in a busy office setting. If time is stretched thin, find out what their favorite dessert, snack or coffee is and surprise them with that. No matter what kind of edible form of thanks you choose, it will be unexpected and appreciated.
#3: Write a recommendation. Word of mouth is pretty powerful – we are more likely to listen to a trusted co-worker or friend’s recommendation before we purchase something. When it comes to a job well-done, one of the best forms of thanks is recommending that person to others. If a co-worker or employee has gone above and beyond, write a recommendation for them on LinkedIn for others to see. LinkedIn is quickly becoming the new online resume, and nothing boosts a person’s professional confidence more than having words of praise online for others to see. If LinkedIn isn’t an option, sending a message of appreciation to their manager is just as great.
For customers or acquaintances in your industry, endorsing their business to others when the need arises is a great way to show them you care. No one will ever say no to additional business coming their way!
#4: Go with your gut. At the end of the day, appreciating someone is less about the form it comes in and more about the act itself. Some of us love to get publicly recognized, others are more private. Some will be thrilled with a gift card, and some will be happy just to receive a note in the mail. Thanking someone should be personal, specific and well-thought-out — beyond that, it’s truly up to you. As Gertrude Stein said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much to anyone.” So, go out there and show your appreciation to those who deserve it most!