The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Saying “Thank You” Goes a Long Way

On September 18th, 2017, posted in: Service, Uncategorized by

Has anyone ever asked you something like this, “Do you have any idea what you just said?” Such a question can be alarming if uttered in the wrong tone or with a negative inflection.

This question from your spouse usually means that you have said something that has been interpreted in the negative for sure. Speaking on behalf of married men everywhere, when we get caught in such an interaction with our respective wives, we defer to the “what? huh?” response teamed with a face that is a cross between lost, scared and sorry. Generally speaking, we’re looking to quickly exit – both the conversation and the scene of the crime.

When said in a professional setting, there is room for a compliment based on how the question was asked and within the context of the moment. That’s what happened to me this past week. In a world filled with the vitriol of Twitter and the disrespect of social media in general, to get a little love for something said is a pleasant departure from the norm.

We live in a world where every word spoken is measured and gleaned for correctness. In most cases, any speaker will scramble quickly to retract any damage that may have been unwittingly inflicted, should the intent of their message be misinterpreted. That wasn’t the case for me. A handful of people heard my comments and wrote them down because they were inspired. What I had said was not a death knell to a future political career, rather a motivating, inspirational message for many. Whew! (I love it when I avoid ending up with a mouthful of foot).

I mentioned that the two most important words that can be used by leaders and successful people is “thank you.” I also noted that “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Both comments resonated with the approximately three-hundred people in the room and a few of them wanted to say so. I was very grateful for such displays of kindness.

Saying “thank you” is so very important. It expresses gratitude for the actions of another. Sadly, society has been conditioned to hear what is wrong with their actions, without much appreciation for what one has done right. Sad, don’t you think? Why is our culture so pre-occupied with negativity? I’m talking to people I know.

One gentleman remarked to me that what I had said was meaningful to him and served as a reminder that acknowledging people for what they do is important. He thanked me which was appropriate.

Another attendee, a female leader from the west coast, found it most helpful to be reminded by my comments regarding caring as an option over intellect. We spend so much time trying to impart information in order that people can be smarter in their roles at work that too many times we come across callous and uncaring. “Here’s what I know that you don’t know” doesn’t always set up well as a motivator.

“Thank you” and “I really appreciate how much you do for the company” is a better way.

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