Can one more Thank You make a big difference?
The answer is Yes – just ask any person who received that Thank You from you.
Why is it “one more” Thank You?
The focus of this article is on that “one more.” The concept is so simple but one that has changed my life in a very profound way. Let’s get to the heart of it right away.
[ Note: Printing this page might make this easy to do this exercise but it not required ]
Think about your most recent “win” – be it in your personal or professional field. A win could be anything that has moved the needle in a significant fashion in your life – something that has made a real difference to you and/or your loved ones.
Now, list all the people who have played a part in that win. Remember to list even the ones that have played a minor part too (this is VERY important)
What was the win? ( one or two lines about your win)
Apart from you who helped you get this win? (write the name and what contribution they made)
Add more lines as necessary.
Take as much time as required but the goal is to list EVERYONE that helped you in any small way to get you this win.
When you think you are done with the list, take another 2 minutes to think of anyone else that you should add. You have to get EVERYONE that played a part – however big or small that part was.
Now, comes the part
Go through the list and check off all the people that you have explicitly thanked (even a simple thank you email is fine) so far. If you have checked off EVERYONE in the list, hat’s off to you. In most cases, I have seen that more than 50% of the people in the list are not checked off – meaning people have not taken the time to thank those that got them a win that mattered to them.
Your mission if you choose to accept it is to send one more thank you note for someone that’s not checked off in the list. You need to do it TODAY. Then, if you want bonus points, keep sending one more thank you note before the end of the week until you check off EVERYONE in the list.
I won’t say why this will work but please try and find it out for yourself. Whoever has done this exercise have actually come back and thanked me for this. if you care to share, please add your comment explaining your own experience.
All the best!
To read next: The Price of Not Thanking Enough.
For those that are more interested:
Why does this work?
In general, people over-estimate what they brought to the table for a win AND underestimate what others and luck brought to the table.
An exercise like the above for every significant win will bring out a lot that you might have taken for granted. Do this exercise regularly and soon you will stop taking anything for granted. Plus, you will start appreciating all the blessings around you.
Update: My friend Dilip Saraf‘s addition as a comment at LinkedIn is worth noting:
Great post, Rajesh, as always! What I find is that merely a Thank you is often not enough. What most people miss in their message is being specific, personal, and timely. For example, to you I’d write: “Thanks, Raj, for this reminder! I went through your list and just realized a number of people I had ignored in expressing my gratitude to them when what they did selflessly made a BIG difference in MY life! Now I feel complete. You are a good friend to have!”
Thanks, Dilip for the insightful addition.