I’m kind of a weird guy. I have a hard time saying Thank You. For all of the times when I want to, and when I know I should, I don’t.
I started to seriously think about it when I came across a partner’s blog post (Liz Handlin’s, on her eBook about thank you’s), and I wrote about it here. For me this was like a “guy’s guide to saying thanks.”
So I went to WalMart and found a pack of 25 thank you cards that weren’t too, you know, feminine. I got them just before a conference last year with the idea that I’d write them for people who touched me, from my partners to conference organizers to new friends I would meet.
I chickened out.
I did, however, force myself to write a heart-felt thank you to someone who did something significant for me (and JibberJobber). It was awkward to write a note like this but it was straight from the heart, and I felt good after I dropped it in the mail.
I still have 24 thank you cards left.
Then, a couple of weeks ago I got a thank you card from one of my other partners, Deb Dib. Deb and I have a neat relationship – the kind you get when you are both stuck at the airport for hours together. We had a chance to really get to know one another and get beyond the superficial part of the relationship.
She had to send me something business-related, which she could have done in a regular envelope, with a short note. Instead, she sent me a card. It wasn’t a regular thank you card, like the kind I bought at WalMart. This was a real card, with the following message:
If you want
happiness for an
hour, take a nap. If
you want happiness
for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for
a month, get married. If
you want happiness for a
year, inherit a fortune. If
you want happiness
for a lifetime, help
– Chinese Proverb
Continuing my journey to better thank you’s, I got a box in the mail yesterday from Heather Gardner. When I was in Silicon Valley last week Heather had a gift for one of my kids. As we were driving around she found out I have four kids (hey, I’m from Utah, what can I say? :p), and she said “oh! I’ll send you a box with gifts for them and have it there when you get home!”
Now understand, I didn’t ask for, or expect anything like this. But it has left a lasting impression on me. And a huge impression on my kids (they think my JibberJobber buddies are pretty cool. I think so too ;)).
This is an impression I won’t forget. Like when my coworker, Cory, would take me to lunch for my birthday. Every year. I never took him (I was the boss and wasn’t sure how to handle it). I regretted that then, and I regret it now. But I’ll never forget how it made me feel to get a birthday lunch from Cory.
Or the special card from Deb. Or the box from Heather.
Feel awkward to do this stuff? Yeah, probably, especially if you are like me. But man, the lasting impression it leaves! These are shining examples of how to nurture relationships!