The Art of Thanks

<a href=””><img class=”size-large wp-image-2152″ title=”The Art of Thanks” src=”×1024.jpg” alt=”” width=”767″ height=”1024″ /></a> The Art of Thanks

By Emma Fogt  MBA, MS, RDN, LDN

Whether it’s the barista giving you your morning cup of Joe or the executive who just offered you your dream job- giving thanks matters. Giving thanks comes directly from the heart and involves recognizing the sacrifice, time or energy people put into their work for you or for your organization. Data from Harvard Business Review shows that highly functioning teams  are those who express positive feedback to negative by a ratio of 5.6 to 1.

No matter what age, sex or income- all people like to be appreciated. The recipient likes to know that they truly matter and are valued for what they do. On the other side of the coin, giving thanks make the giver feel good, feel safe and even gives them energy.

At a deeper level, giving thanks is all about positive psychology. We live in a world where people whine and complain and often feel more at ease reacting negatively to a situation rather than just sitting back and looking at it with an eye for gratitude. Sometimes it’s the last thing we want to do…thank someone because we feel awkward and it doesn’t seem natural.  That is why the art of thanks takes practice.

Read on to discover 5 easy tips to better practice “artfelt” thanks with our family, friends, teams and co-workers.

1. <strong>Mean It:</strong> Giving thanks should not be overdone or be felt as insincere. If that happens then the thank you becomes meaningless. Use your “thank you’s”  only when you really mean it- when you are truly grateful .

<strong>2. Get Specific :</strong> How about thanking someone- really thanking them with specifics. Instead of a nonchalant “thanks” from over the shoulder…how about, “ Thank you so much for helping with the get together tonight. I could not have done the set-up without you, you helped make this event a success.” Too mushy? … not to the recipient!  Focus specifics on the actions and deeds which they have done well.

<strong>3. Use Body Language: </strong>Show it like you mean it. Our body language says everything about our words. – genuine thanks means taking the time to  face a person – look them  in the eye and… thank them , even better …with others present to appreciate it as well.

.<strong>4. Make It Personalized: </strong>Think about ideas and ways of saying thank you to that person which are meaningful to them.  Maybe they like crafts and you can send them a gift card to their favorite craft store, perhaps they enjoy home made food and you can send them a freshly baked quick bread or perhaps a visit for a chat is the perfect thank you for them.

<strong>5. Try “Artfelt” Thanks:</strong>  Three ways to give meaningful personalized thanks are:

Write It: A personalized hand written note or card

Make It:  A homemade token of appreciations such as baked goods

Say It: Visit in person or pick up the phone with one intention: just to say thanks.

Like painting, gratitude is an art. I promise you, the more we practice the art of thanks, the better at it we become and the results can be surprisingly beautiful!