Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 175

Never underestimate the power of a simple #ThankYou. #QuoteADay #Day175 #edchat #edu #GiveThanks #Gratitude

Giving thanks is actually very easy to do, but it is amazing just how often we don’t take the time to do it. 

It isn’t because we don’t value the work people do, but often it is because we either “don’t have the time” or we think it is “silly” to regularly thank others for the work they do.

Of course, we’re wrong in holding both of these opinions.  In fact, we couldn’t be more wrong about the silliness aspect of saying “Thank You.”  Letting others know that you are thankful for the work they do goes a long way to building capacity and further cultivating a community.  It also does two very important things: It recognizes the fact that people are working just as hard as you are, and it also shows that you are aware of what is happening; a present leader is a present for those he/she works for.

In terms of the time piece, one things is for certain: We aren’t getting more free time.  But, in the grand scheme of things, a one minute “thank you” takes just one minute.  If we’re concerned that we don’t have the time to engage in a deep conversation, it is okay to say so.  Try something like this:

”Hi Jean.  I just wanted to stop by this morning to thank you for putting your students work up along the hallway by the cafeteria.  Yesterday I saw a whole bunch of students, teachers, and parents stopping to study it, and heard one parent remark: ‘This is truly amazing work by the fifth graders!’ I’m sorry I can’t chat with you more about this right now, but I would love if you could make an appointment with me for about fifteen minutes over the next few days so I can hear more about this.”

What does this do?  First, it shows that you make time for your staff and students.  Second, it acknowledges the time spent by your team to make the school more than just a place “to be.”  Finally, it puts control of the conversation in your hands, so you don’t have to feel rude by having to leave to go somewhere else.  You’ve also provided some context for Jean so she has a sense of how she should structure the meeting and how much time you hope to spend with her.

Saying “Thanks” isn’t just something that we can do.  It is something we must do if we hope to build a community that thrives on support and collaboration.

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