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The Timing and Importance of Gratitude

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Gratitude is key. Key.
It's key to success. It's key to maintaining and enhancing
relationships. It's key to persuading people. It's key, period. When
was the last time you said "thank you"

There's a team of people behind you who've been helping shape and
inspire you. Do they know how important they are Do you tell

Let me give you two true and exceptional stories that I've
encountered when it comes to expressing gratitude. One story
coming from the business world and the other from the political
landscape. I encourage you to consider implementing the
strategies from the stories below into your business and daily

In Business... The Context: A meeting was called to discuss the
future plans for a project. During the meeting, opinions were
flying around the table and each person's comments were
instrumental for the meeting organizer and team to determine the
next steps.

The Expression of Gratitude: While a generic: "Thanks everyone
for your input" at the end of the meeting would have been
sufficient, the meeting organizer wanted to take it a step
further. He made a special trip a few minutes after the meeting
to the desk of the meeting attendees and thanked them personally
for their input and participation. He went way out of his way and
said: "Thanks Ronnie for your time and your help with this. I
really appreciate it and I'm glad to be working with you!"

The Moral: Go that extra mile. Taking the extra few steps to
simply say thanks is immediately noticed and will shock the
crowd. It's an unexpected and refreshing change from the
unappreciative nature of the majority. By being outward with your
appreciation, you're differentiating yourself from the crowd and
you will be perceived as a passionate and respectful person. To
take it even further, you'll be in a better position to rally the
troops, sway your friend's opinion, or persuade people. So going
a little bit farther than expected can really have some
exceptional and positive consequences.

In Politics... The Context: During the city-wide elections, a
candidate for the local councillor position by the name of Glenn
De Baeremaeker stood beside a busy intersection early in the
morning waving at the passing cars with "Vote for Glenn" signs
surrounding him. It was a welcomed change to see a politician
completely alone, standing out in the cold with a huge smile on
his face ecstatically waving at passing by cars, especially
during the early morning rush. Well, he was elected to the city
council! His unique and more down-to-earth method of self-
promotion may or may not have won the race but I can assure that
it did not go unnoticed.

The Expression of Gratitude: To think Glenn would just wash his
hands and enjoy his new job would be an understatement of Glenn's
character. So what did he do Well, he went to the same
intersection days after the election, took his signs with him,
but this time -- I'm not kidding you -- the signs said: "Thank
You!" and he was standing alone with his trademark smile waving
profusely at the passing by cars.

The Moral: Wow! Glenn gets it! His personal touch, considerate
character and expression of gratitude obviously pleased voters.
It sure made him appear a lot more human and his voters could
identify with him on a more personal level. He didn't put himself
on an unreachable pedestal or seem unapproachable, instead, he
put himself on the same level as those of whom he represents. But
to take this a step farther, let's think about the people who did
support him.

How do you think his voters felt when they saw their local
councillor-elect out there in the cold days after the election
with a giant "thank you" sign Did Glenn have to do it He
already won his seat! Well, just like our friend in the business
world, Glenn wanted to take it a step further. He made his voters
feel proud of their decision. There won't be any voters remorse
when they see such a considerate, down-to-earth person elected by
their votes. After all, he's out there taking the time out to say
"thank you" when he could have stayed in his heated house and
slept in.

I applaud both our businessperson and politician for their
creativity and attentiveness!

Take a Step Back and Suck it All In Take a step back. In doing
so, you'll be able to see all of the people that were behind you
from the beginning. Then you'll start appreciating just how much
they've helped you along the way. Take the time out to thank them
for their support, understanding, and thoughtfulness. Let them
know just how much they've affected you.

Just remember that for each success you encounter, there are a
number of others around you -- your family, friends, mentors,
business partners, employees and managers -- who had a hand in
it. Just like our businessperson and politician, put a little
effort into expressing your gratitude. Bend over backwards to
appreciate all those positive influences in your life. Not only
will they feel special and valuable, but so will you!

I'd encourage you to take the time out to thank those around you
who've been crucial to your success and well-being. Be thankful
that you're not alone!

Spend today to email, call or visit your friends, family,
business associates, or spouses, especially those of whom haven't
received a "thank you" from you recently. Tell them how you feel!

In the spirit of gratitude: thank you for reading our articles on
ACQYR. We can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate your
time and your feedback. Don't hesitate to drop us a line with
your comments.

Copyright 2004, Ronnie Nijmeh, The ACQYR team
provides the masses with witty yet strategic ideas leading to self-
improvement and growth. For more information and exciting, fresh
motivational articles, visit:
Live. Learn. ACQYR.

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