How can someone dramatically improve a stale relationship? How can a CEO drastically enhance the performance of their employees or an employee change the way their boss receives their work? How can we increase the quality of communication and decrease the amount of conflict between family members?
There are countless studies now that support how gratitude can improve our life and increases happiness, but it is not enough to keep a journal, express your gratitude in your heart, or send it out into the celestial ether. While that is all well and a perfect starting point, we must also extend out this intentional thankfulness in verbal form— to those we love, to those who work for us, or to those we work for, and all the relationships in between. To express a thank you is an initial sign of humility that opens the connection between you and another soul. Thank you acknowledges the other person— it tells them you see them and what they do, and your sincere acknowledgement evokes a sense of connection.
Do you thank your employees regularly, and acknowledge the work they put into your company? A thank you is a bonus of a different kind that motivates them to work harder and improve their performance. There is little less motivating than feeling invisible and underappreciated. Or have you thanked your boss lately? For the time they took to mentor you or explain something you didn’t understand? Or if you are not feeling valued, have you thanked yourself for all the hard work you put in everyday? Have you thanked your spouse recently for the mundane chores they do for the family each morning? Have you thanked your server for their excellent service or the mailman for delivering your mail in the pouring rain? Each thank you brings us one step closer to the humanity within us all. It is the starting point of connection: through appreciation and acknowledgement, negative perceptions may even change. Be grateful towards those around you and watch your relationships evolve with gratitude.