A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Just Give It Away

Aha! Moment Monday

I got accused of being a people-pleaser the other day. I say ‘accused’ because the label implies that one behaves in a way solely to garner recognition and appreciation.  While I totally admit that being the inspiration to, or support for, another human gives me great joy, my motivation to do “good” is intrinsic. I’m detached from the outcome of my gifts but I admit there is a little piece of me that is open to a “thank you” of some description.

What about you?

If you held the door for someone, picked up something they dropped, ran an errand on their behalf, collected their kid from school, hosted dinner, volunteered for their organization, gave them a kick-ass referral, went to bat for them, mailed them sought-after tickets to an event, sponsored them, made a pivotal introduction, stayed late to help finish their work, awarded them with a contract, or in some way went out of your way to support them, would you expect a “thank you”?   Is it a social thing or a recognition thing?

Perhaps there are different levels of “gifts” that might be perceived as requiring different levels of appreciation.  BIG gifts usually are met with overwhelming recognition.  My friend, Peggy, enthusiastically and frequently thanks her husband for marrying her.  It’s ironic because I’m sure Peggy is the woman of many men’s dreams and I know her husband feels like he’s the lucky one, but Peggy is abundantly aware that she and her husband are an awesome team and for that, and him, she is profoundly and openly thankful.  Neither of them married the other solely to be appreciated – silly to think – but how nice is it that she candidly states her gratitude?

I used to employ a graphic designer that at the end of every work day she would poke her head in my office and say “thank you”.  She was a great addition to our team and every day expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to be so.

There are many gifts exchanged that go unrecognized.  When we choose to not take time to express thanks, are we silently belittling the value of another?

Aha! ~ Saying “thank you” acknowledges that no person is an island.

We are an interdependent society and no person or their time is less valuable than another’s.  Some may think there is a difference amongst us because of stature, acclaim, fortune or fame – that one committee member, board member, team member or family member is more important than another – but we’re all a cog in the master wheel.  We all contribute and are the recipients of the contributions of many.

Yes, proper recognition takes time and effort but in this time-deprived society it’s even more important to recognize that everyone has a choice as to how to behave.  When they choose to honor you in some way, acknowledging their choice with a “thank you” completes the circle by responding with an element of your time.

Gift-giving season is upon us.  Be generous with your list.

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