I started the day today with five thank you notes. Actually, I did them after my first two meetings. I had them on my list yesterday but I just didn’t get to them.
It was not hard to come up with five people who needed recognition. My local Women in Nuclear chapter hosted our Annual Conference a couple of weeks ago and there were a ton of people who contributed to an absolutely great day.
My notes were just brief emails – a bit like Jimmy Fallon does on Thursday nights. I really didn’t think too much of it. It only took a few minutes.
Guess what happened after I sent them?
Every time I came back to my desk, there was note back. People appreciated getting the note but also took the opportunity to share what they enjoyed about the day as well.
I did not expect to get responses – that was not the point. It was just to recognize a special effort made people who don’t have a lot of extra time on their hands.
That they responded in such a positive way was a real gift to me. I filed each one in my Feel Good folder. (Yes, I have one of those in my inbox).
This kind of genuine and spontaneous act can make a real difference in your career. Not only is it totally uplifting to send a nice note, but it’s something that people really remember. It’s the sort of differentiator that lends well to moving into more senior roles. It is an indication of two things: that you can get your head out of your ass long enough to think about other people and that you can carve a few minutes out of your schedule to do something about it.
Trust me: those two things will set you apart.
The holidays are coming and there will be plenty of opportunities to try this out. Can you fit in one nice note per week?
One response to “Thank your way to the Top”
Funny, I did the same thing this morning. I composed thank you emails to colleagues who have been supportive of my or my faculty’s initiatives. It is so easy to say, ‘that is their job’, but a simple thank you for the time or energy they spent goes a long way in demonstrating the internal gratitude you feel.