November is month of appreciation, thankfulness and gratitude. And, this week happens to also be World Communication Week. Therefore, today’s Own Your Awesome article is all about communicating gratitude.
There are probably as many ways to express thankfulness as there are stars in the sky, the problem then becomes which is the best way in this situation. Here are some common ways to express thanks and the scenarios in which they work the best.
Cards are a great way to express thanks. This is why you can buy packs of Thank You cards — there are multiple times in your life where a thank you card is appropriate.
Someone gave you a gift. Sending thank you cards to people who have given you a gift, whether for a birthday, wedding, holiday or other occasion is a time-honored tradition that doesn’t get executed often enough. Sending a hand-written thank you card in the mail not only sets you apart from most others, it illustrates your gratitude in a unique way more powerful that mere spoken words.
Someone gave you their time. Sending thank you cards is a great way to show appreciation for someone’s time. Good times to do this are after an interview, when someone has volunteered to help you with a project, or anytime someone gives you the gift of their time when it doesn’t necessarily benefit them.
Holidays. A common business practice is to send Christmas cards, but a technique I learned from Dan Kennedy is to send thank you cards for Thanksgiving. For several years, I sent Thanksgiving cards to everyone who purchased a product or service from me in the previous year. Not only did they appreciate my recognizing their patronage, but often it spurred their memory that they needed me for something else. I actually got repeat business by showing my clients I appreciated them.
The key to making any of these cards effective is to hand write them and send them in the mail. This stands out because it shows you invested time in appreciated them.
Sometimes appreciation is better shown by giving the person you appreciate a gift.
Personal gifts: Giving someone you love flowers, jewelry, framed photographs or even a specially written poem is a great way to show you appreciate that person being in your life. My fiancé has given me flowers and even written me poem, which I treasure. I, too, have written a poem that incorporated his name and given him tokens that speak to his interests. Personal gifts show thoughtfulness and appreciation at the same time.
Business gifts: When I worked in the communications department at City of Hope, every Christmas our office was flooded with gift baskets from a variety of vendors who appreciated us using their services. This is a long-valued marketing tactic that you can use, as well. Send your best clients a small gift at key times of the year:
- After a big purchase
- Winter Holidays
- Client Appreciation Day
Gifts can be anything that your client might appreciate: gift cards, flowers, notebooks, post-it notes, etc. Be careful about offering discounts on your products and services because that can come off as self-serving.
Employee gifts: One company I worked for included a $20 gift certificate for a local grocery story with your pre-Thanksgiving check. Many businesses let their employees off early before a holiday — with pay. These small gestures of appreciation help build loyalty in your staff and are worth the expense.
Words of Affirmation and Appreciation
Are you familiar with The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman? If not, I recommend that you look into it. Words of Affirmation is one of the five languages, and is especially common for men. Letting the people in your life know you appreciate them with words of praise, gratitude and appreciation can be very powerful. Catch people doing things right and let them know. This works whether that person is your friend, lover, family member, co-worker, boss, employee — basically, if they are human this will work.
These are the three most common methods of communicating gratitude. There are most certainly more. How do you let the people in your life know that you appreciate them? Please share your ideas in a comment below.
Gratitude Makes You Happier
Grateful people are happier people. A daily gratitude practice can help you foster thankfulness in your life and improve your mood. Download this Daily Gratitude Worksheet, print it out and complete it each day.
The prompts on this 2-page worksheet will help you identify the things that are going right in your life. And, the more consistent you are with the practice, the more you will notice that you have things for which to be grateful.
Download your copy today!