The Art of Thanks


Whether it’s the barista giving you your morning cup of Joe or the executive who just offered you your dream job, giving thanks matters. Giving thanks comes directly from the heart and involves recognizing the sacrifice, time, and energy people put into their work for you or for your organization. Data from Harvard Business Review shows that highly functioning teams are those who express positive feedback, instead of  negative, by a ratio of 5.6 to 1. No matter what age, sex, or income, all people like to be appreciated. The recipient likes to know that they truly matter and are valued for what they do. Also, giving thanks make the giver feel good and even gives them energy.

At a deeper level, giving thanks is all about positive psychology. We live in a world where people whine and complain. Often, folks feel more at ease reacting negatively to a situation, rather than just sitting back and looking at it with an eye of gratitude. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is thank someone; it may not seem natural, and we may feel awkward.  That is why the art of thanks takes practice.

Read on to discover 5 easy tips to practice “artfelt” thanks with family, friends, teams, and co-workers.

1Mean It: Giving thanks should not be overdone or be felt as insincere. If that happens, then the “thank you” becomes meaningless. Use your “thank you’s”  only when you really mean it; when you are truly grateful.

2. Get Specific : How about thanking someone. I mean really thanking them with specifics. Instead of a nonchalant “thanks” from over the shoulder, how about “ Thank you so much for helping with the get together tonight. I could not have done the set-up without you. You helped make this event a success.” Too mushy? Not to the recipient!  Focus specifics on the actions and deeds which the recipient did well on.

3. Use Body Language: Show it like you mean it. Our body language says everything about our words. Genuine “thanks” means taking the time to face a person. Look them in the eye and thank them. It’s even better when others are present to appreciate it as well.

4. Make It Personalized: Think about ideas and ways of saying thank you to that person which are meaningful to them. Maybe they like crafts; you can send them a gift card to their favorite craft store. Perhaps they enjoy home made food; you can send them a freshly baked quick bread. Perhaps a visit for a chat is the perfect thank you for them.

5. Try “Artfelt” Thanks:  Three ways to give meaningful personalized thanks are:

Write It: A personalized hand written note or card.

Make It:  A homemade token of appreciation such as baked goods.

Say It: Visit in person or pick up the phone with one intention: just to say thanks.

Like painting, gratitude is an art. I promise you,the more we practice the art of thanks, the better at it we become. The results can be surprisingly beautiful!


Tip of the Day

Dairy foods are important for building strong bones for kids, teens, and adults. Make sure to include low-fat and fat-free dairy foods with meals and snacks on a daily basis.

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