The Power of Thank You (the personal power tool that costs £0!)

The Power of Thank You

Have you ever been in the situation where you have held open a door for someone and they sailed through without saying a word? Or how about letting someone in front of you in a line of traffic and they make no sign of acknowledgement. Or, as happened to me recently, you spend an entire day preparing a feast for a dinner party to have someone turn up empty handed, they eat your food, drink your wine and never say thank you, not even a text!

Annoying isn’t it? It can make your blood boil, and have you noticed the unpleasant sensation it leaves you with afterwards? The only thing greater than the power of thank you is the sour taste a lack of thanks can leave.

The power of thank you is seriously underestimated

Some employers make the mistake of thinking that things such as money, extra holiday entitlement, or promotions are the only ways to keep staff happy. Of course these are great to receive but it all costs money and eats into profitability if they are the only tools used.

There are plenty of things leaders can do that cost absolutely zero £.  The first of these is the all too obvious but much underused words of ‘thank you’.

Human beings respond much more positively to praise.  If you actively look for what is good in a person or what they are doing which is spot on if not surpassing your anticipations, then actively bring attention to this by acknowledgement and a thank you, that person will respond in a favourable way. The power of thank you is the warm glow it gives a person.

You don’t need awards or anything over the top by way of a thank you.  Just stop and consider how good you felt when someone took the time to notice something you had done or achieved and then went out of their way to come up to you and say something great about it.  How did that make you feel for the rest of the day? It’s that feeling you should be instilling in those you are responsible for.

The power of thank you costs zero £ but a few moments of time

Even when you’re busy there is always time to glance up and outwards to review how your team members are doing and, if you are a good leader, how their morale is.  Some may need more encouragement than others, some may not trust their own regard for themselves and some may need support and help.  But how are you going to know this unless you take the time? Acknowledgment and thanks are extremely powerful, especially when times are stressful or tough.

It is very easy and often the norm to watch employee’s performance and pull them up on what it is that they are not doing or are doing imperfectly.  While this may be regarded as positive feedback because it will help them improve, it quite often isn’t and doesn’t.  Criticism and having what are perceived as negative points raised can be viewed as an attack on their personal identity and I’ve never known a person respond well to it.

Of course, sometimes it is necessary to address performance issues for the overall good of the team and company, however first look for the good and start with that.  Think carefully about the more negative issue you need to raise and how you can do so without attacking their personality and always finish with a positive phrase or aspect directed back at them as a person.

You’re human, they’re human – treat them as you would yourself – with positive regard and humanity. Use the power of thank you constructively and enjoy the smiles you get in return.

(Oh, and thank you for taking the time to read this article)

Big Shiny Goal Pams Articles Email Pam

Shifting your Reward motivation into a Change motivation

Change Motivation Embrace

In my previous article I explained how, currently, 90% of people are working within a Reward motivation concept.  In order to survive and succeed within the fast pace changes we are now facing a Reward motivation alone will no longer be enough.  A Change motivation, the ability to be motivated by change itself, will be the one that wins the prize.

So, what’s the trick to moving from just a Reward motivation mind-set to a Change motivation mind-set?

How to move to a change motivation mindset

For me it was brought about by the train crash.  I lost everything I had built up in my life up until that point and yet I can say, in many ways, that train crash is the best thing to have happened to me precisely because it made me re-evaluate what my motivation was going to be.

Before the train crash I was considered a successful businesswoman. I had my own company, I was earning what was termed a high net worth income, I went on 5-star holidays, I was able to change my car to the latest model every year, Champagne was my drink of choice. I had my life all planned out. There were new ideas in the pipeline and my motivation, which was to make money, was definitely working back then.

Change Motivation Second Chance

Then, in the blink of an eye in those few minutes, the train crash tore to shreds all the plans I had.  I lost my company, I lost my marriage, I lost my health. I ended up in a coma for three weeks and when I awoke I found that my whole life had changed.  It would never be the same again.

I realised pretty quickly that I was going to have to adapt and adapt quickly to my altered circumstances. If I wanted to survive and continue into a future I had to alter my reasoning behind my very existence, my motivation.

And that is when my motivation changed.  It changed from a money or Reward motivation into a Change motivation.

I wouldn’t want any of you have to go through something as traumatic as a train crash to find this out, so I’ll explain as simply as I can.

Firstly, you have to understand the concept behind why we become motivated and that, at the moment, most adopt the Reward motivation way of working. Once you get that, the second step is acceptance.

Acceptance that change motivation is natural

You need to truly accept, to the very marrow of your being, that change is totally and perfectly normal.  Change is our status quo.

Change is one of the few guarantees we can rely on will happen, as has been proven when we look back over our history, and it will always shape our future.

Furthermore, it is going to happen whether we like it or not so the intelligent thing is to accept it.

Once you have really accepted change the next step is to embrace change.

Welcome it.  Expect it.  Look for it.

Turn your attention to welcoming change when it happens. Go out and look for it. You should begin to encourage it in yourself at home and at work and also encourage it in other people around you.

And when you find that you’ve hit a hiatus? If you get to the stage where you think ‘this is quite smooth sailing’ your Change motivation should push you into deliberately creating change because that’s how you leap forward.

You should even, as I found, look forward to change and you’ll spot and enjoy the new opportunities it will present because the negative aspects (fear, worry, anxiety, stress) diminish to imperceptible levels.

You’ll also find when you’re encouraging this embracing and accepting attitude towards change you’ll adapt quicker and adapting quicker puts you several steps ahead of your competition.

Ever since I’ve adopted this Change motivation my new life, my second chance if you will, has opened up in surprising, unexpected, but ultimately rewarding pathways. The Change motivation mentality has led me back to success again but has also opened up avenues to new opportunities and potential which I have learned to exploit.

You too can steal a march on exploiting change for your own benefit. Embrace the Change motivation.