“Thank you” is such a simple gesture, a daily occurrence, an acknowledgement of interacting with other humans. “Thanks!” says the person for whom you held the elevator. “Thanks, everyone” concludes the weekly staff meeting. “Thank you” writes the company in its holiday card.
All those thanks are important symbols and expressions of gratitude in our lives and livelihoods. “Thank you” is also part — often underused — of the skill of competing.
Competing and gratitude might appear contradictory. How can we be competitive and thankful at the same time? Isn’t the essence of competition to win or gain advantage? Competing would suggest that we put ourselves and the organization first, think less about others, and stay focused on what we want. On the surface competing is more about “beat you!” than “thank you.”
I submit, though, that to compete well we must seek the help of many. Getting the job, on the job, and building the business, employees and employers alike should consider how a meaningful “thank you” impacts competitive edge both for their organization and for them personally. We’ve all heard (and said) the bitter complaint that someone “didn’t even say ‘thank you.’” Likewise, people of all kinds, including senior leaders, must be willing to provide support while expecting no more in return than a kind expression of thanks. It doesn’t work when strings are attached. …Read More →