These days, everything seems to be available at the touch of a button. We can reach everything and be able to have anything, through applications on our computers or phones. It makes our work easier, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. We finish our work faster, and it makes life easier for many of us.
But because we can gratify ourselves instantly with what we want or need at the moment we want or need them, we have become entitled to receive things as easily as we have demanded of them. Sometimes, we treat people at work the same as we treat our computers or machines – we want to be served just as quick! And then when we got what we need, we’d leave the rest to dust.
We’re more impatient. We demand the most outrageous things. We get insanely angry over computer failure and then we misplace our frustration on other people. These things are enough to remind us to slow down and consider how we are not entitled to anything.
Why should we breed the habit of saying ‘thank you’, especially in our work places?
Appreciating others’ effort.
When someone does something for us at work, it’s easy to dismiss it as something that they “had to do”. If you look around, restaurant servers, security, helpers, hotel housekeeping staff and people in similar jobs do so much thankless work. They clean up after our mess, and sometimes even get yelled at, for the smallest reasons.
But without them, we’d be eating in dirty tables; we’d be struggling over our groceries just to open the lobby door, or sleeping in messy beds. They may perhaps be doing their work, but we’re not above them because of it. It is recognizing that their job is to make us feel comfortable, but their worth as people is not tied to the nature of their jobs.
It’s the same in the office – whether it’s the guy who delivers mail or the one who prepared your report’s slide show, we shouldn’t forget that even if they had to do it because that’s expected of them, it took them their time, energy, resources and wit to be able to perform for our convenience, just as we’d do things for our bosses and colleagues.
When we’re appreciative, people will go the extra mile. For parents, that’s a good motivating factor to get children to do chores! Children are encouraged by parents’ or older people’s recognition, so once they hear a good word from you, they’d likely repeat that and echo your habit of thankfulness to others as well.
At the end of the day, whatever service or help we receive from others, we’re all just people – we’d love to hear something as small but as rewarding as a ‘thank you’ for something that took any bit of effort.
Whether it’s a small or a big task, nobody likes to hear that what they worked hard on didn’t matter. But whether or not an idea or task had been made use of or not, it still doesn’t take away the fact that it was still an accomplishment. Saying ‘thank you’ sheds light on that accomplishment, and lets the other person have the idea, at least subliminally, that he or she ought to have done their best on it. They won’t be flippant about the most menial tasks because they know that you took enough notice.
In the work place, a simple, “Thank you on that chart you made, it was very helpful!” can mean that staff member would just remember that comment on a simple task and be motivated to do well on his other assignments in the future.
Appreciation also weaves people together. When we forget to be thankful, we breed hostility because we somehow ignored someone’s show of effort, and they’d be less likely to be motivated to do well in the future because they’d feel that it doesn’t matter. And when we take the words ‘thank you’ for granted, we separate ourselves from others.
You don’t expect to be able to do everything and still be on top of it all. Getting help – and showing that you’re grateful for it – is a display of humility.
No one is a standalone guy at the work place, so even if you try to do everything on your own, you’d still need resources, you’d still need to ask someone else, you’d still need to figure out things with some help. It requires a healthy level of self-recognition to acknowledge that you’re not mighty on your own.
When we seek help, we get another’s involvement and expertise on a matter. Being thankful for the person’s assistance will likely ensure that they’d do it again for you. Pride is divisive; and it is just plain silly at some point. Why struggle on your own when you can call someone to help you on it? The time spent not agonizing over a particular project or chore is another person’s precious time, of which they willingly spent to help you.
The more that you have the habit of thankfulness, the higher chance it is that other people will instantly give you the aid that you need in the future, no questions asked. They’ll be readily available, because they see that you’ve placed value in what they’ve done for you by thanking them.
It’s not only an issue of being able to say thanks; but more importantly, it’s putting the right perspective on who we are as we interact with others. Do we think lowly of them? Do we think too highly of ourselves? People who don’t show appreciation mostly have an issue with pride. In a team, there’s a proper place for pride, and that should not be somewhere that hampers the whole group’s efforts and turn overs.
Because we live in a fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the stream of activity and forget to stop and thank the people who help enable us to run it. Thankfulness is a habit, and to cultivate it will surely give us a better working relationship with our peers and an even better working environment where everybody is acknowledged, appreciated, and motivated.