Showing gratitude is important, but the true benefit is building stronger relationships. You want relationships with people that will last for many years.
This takes work. The better you get at supporting others, understanding them and making adjustments to how you appreciate them the more your relationships will grow. Make sure to use the 3 pillars of sharing gratitude.
3 Pillars of Sharing Gratitude:
- Sincere - Do they believe that you mean it?
- Appropriate - Are you fully aware of the situation and the person you are talking with? How do you let them know that you appreciate them?
- Specific - Do they understand what they did well and why it mattered to you?
If you ask for help on a project and aren’t willing to give help in return, they’ll see that you don’t care as much about them and eventually your friendship will fall off. You’ve probably seen this in your past. You helped a friend and then when you asked for help they weren’t able to help.
I’ve been practicing on giving just to give and not to get anything in return. I do my best to not just share my appreciation for them, but also find ways to help them. Actions that show we care are just as important as sharing appreciation with people. I do have my limits. If every time I say "hi" to someone they punch me in the face, I'm going to stop greeting them. You have to be wise with who you appreciate and how you appreciate them.
This is a big part of growing your career. You need to share appreciation with people, but you also need to bring value to the relationship. The more value you bring to a relationship the deeper this relationship will become. When you show appreciation through your actions this is when you build a lasting relationship with family members, employees or friends.
When someone helps you and the results were positive take a moment to let them know.
Before you send your message ask yourself...
- Who has helped me recently?
- How did their help make a difference in my life? (This is the cornerstone of appreciation. Not just sending them a message after they help, but also a few weeks later and explaining what the outcome was and how you appreciate them for their guidance.)
- What is the best way to send them a message?
- When can you send them a message?
- What can you offer to help them with something they care about?
The more you can think through each question the more likely you will be to actually send them a message.
It’s important to follow-up after you get some results. It shows them how much you appreciate them and that you are willing to go the extra mile to make sure they know how valuable their help was to you. It's this feeling that you can create inside of people that will encourage them to go out of their way to help you again.
This last crucial step is what will build an acquaintance into a friend and a friend into a great friend. It starts with explaining how valuable they are and then seeing if you can repay the favor in some way. They might not need any help, but they see you are willing to help and that's so important to building a stronger friendship. If they do need help then that's great! It's your chance to show they how valuable you can be to them.
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