Thank people in public

Did you know that sometimes people like to be embarrassed for a good reason? They like to blush, shrug and say, “gee, thanks, stop-it-really!”

That’s why even though some people act surprised and humiliated when a crowd of strangers sing happy birthday to them at a restaurant; secretly they feel wonderful and warm inside. They feel in the moment.

When you are at work, you have dozens of opportunities each year to thank someone for their contributions. Someone helps on a project, goes the extra mile. Someone was the ‘difference maker’ in a successful launch. Too often we don’t let that attaboy opportunity serve as “a stage where we can create a memorable experience”. We thank them in private and usually in an understated way. We are discreet about it. We are cool about it. Its cultural. Too many people don’t want to be singled out because they fear that others will get jealous and make their life miserable (like work was some sort of prison yard). So we oblige them with discretion.

When we do this, we minimize the return on appreciation. This is like saying happy birthday to your live in son, via an email from your black berry. It’s not a bigtime experience to match the bigtime day.

This doesn’t mean we should over do it, though. We should learn to make our thanks commensurate to the value-add. If someone did a little thing for you, thank them casually. If they moved a ball up a hill for the team, make a production out of it – and don’t spare the pile-on! Get others to thank them too. The emotional experience will inspire them and you will create a virtuous circle of energy in your group. The more public we are about thanks, the more we create an environment where people want to exceed expectations – and not just muddle along.

The value of thanks will have future thoughts too, but let this be my first word on the subject.

Visit my official website for more resources on attitude, likeability and improved outlook. Get on the virtuous circle and off the vicious cycle!

Recommended action: Single out one person and one place this month for a public thanks experience. Get two other recipients of value involved.

Let me be the first to do this by thanking David Jay at Open Source Photo. Several hundred people were referred to this blog yesterday by David (The Paul Galvin Story). Thanks dude, you are one of the first bloggers that’s picked up Sanders Says. You rock and your blog is excellent.

Read: The Experience Economy by Pine and Gilmore (and apply it to your relationship life).

PS — Thanks for Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone) for the mention in his newsletter. Sign up for this incredible resource here: Never Eat Alone Online.

VIDEO COMPANION TO THIS IDEA: Let your gratitude be your shield against going “Kramer” on someone next week. Check out this video.

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