There are two simple words that make every team better. "Thank you!" It's that simple. Say them often. Say them loudly.
With thanksgiving just around the corner this seems like the perfect time to be talking about these two simple, yet incredibly impactful words.
G.B. Stern once said: "Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." If you want to see positive choices and actions repeated, the best thing you can do is show gratitude for them happening in the first place!
It always amazes me how much more frequently we see people giving what has become affectionately known as "Constructive Feedback" (Which, overtime, has become another way of saying: "I'm about to tell you something I'd like you to do better, please don't get mad."), rather than Positive Feedback (which I guess would be more like saying: "I'm about to tell you exactly why I think you're wonderful!") If you truly want your team to perform at the highest level, you and your teammates must reverse this trend. Challenge yourselves to give positive feedback twice as much as it's 'constructive' counter-part. Once you think you've achieved that, push yourselves to give positive feedback three times as much! And never stop pushing yourself and your teammates to do better!
Now, if you are going to do this, please make sure you do it properly, so get ready for "Thank You 101"...
Step 1: Always be looking for positive choices and actions. Keep your antennas up!
Step 2: When you see great things happening, give immediate feedback.
Step 3: Be specific. Don't just say "Thank you" and expect your teammate to know what you are talking about, tell them what you are thanking them for. This may seem obvious, but it is often an overlooked step.
Step 4: When possible, thank your teammates in front of other people. This has a double benefit. (1) it feels great to be publicly recognized (2) it gives others an idea of something they too can do for the team
Step 5: Repeat. Often.
Now it's time to walk the walk...
THANK YOU for taking the time to read this article!
Written by: Mitch Zeltzer, Dynamix Co-Founder.
Dynamix: Team-building for Kids and Teens, since 2002.
Picture taken from Google Images, source: http://www.corydoiron.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Thank-You-Kids-.jpg