On this day of Thanks Giving, go just a bit beyond saying thank you. Tell somebody that has made a difference in your life, just how they made a difference. Did you take some advice or counsel that resulted in a rich experience?
More than just saying thank you, it is helpful to let people know just how they have helped you. Most people just go through life doing what they do unaware of the impact they are making. They take “thank yous” in stride often responding “no problem” and moving on to the next thing. But you can make an equally positive and powerful impact when you tell someone not just thank you but how they made a difference. Why is this valuable? When you share that with someone, you help them see their gift and how they add value to the life of others. Rarely do people see themselves the way others see them or recognize how what they do makes a difference.
In fact, it’s difficult for people to recognize their contributions. As a coach, its one of the areas my clients most often want to understand. Every coaching client I have worked with has asked to be helped with this. “I want to know that I’m making a difference” usually bubbles up in the top five areas clients want to work on. Without that clarity and affirmation, they feel like they are just stabbing around in the dark. Once they get that clarity and affirmation, however, it bolsters their confidence and esteem and enriches what they do even more. It’s a powerful thing.
I had the incredible delight of visiting a long time dear friend by telephone recently. It had been a while since we had the opportunity to really get caught up with what each of us was up to in our professional and personal lives. He shared that he had been to four African countries in the last 5 weeks, in separate trips.
As he summarized each trip and how they were different, I asked him whether he was planning to write a book about the things he has seen and experienced, not just about these recent trips, but all of the trips he has taken. He had a casual sort of “maybe I’ll get around to it one day” response. He wasn’t sure just what angle the book or books should take. He had actually written an article that could in fact be a chapter. I pointed out how his stories were authentically infused with insights, lessons and lots of humor.
Each story would be enormously beneficial to potential clients in particular and the business community in general to say nothing about how fascinating they would be. By the time we concluded our visit, at least three books had been identified. The point is, he didn’t readily see the full range of the power in his stories, but once he did, it immediately changed his thinking about writing a book. He is going to be quite busy.
So take the time to tell somebody how they make a difference in your life. It is a great way to say “Thank You” and show your gratitude. What you do makes a difference and hopefully someone will share with you how you have made a difference in their lives.
YOU 3.0 Question of the week: How has someone made a difference in your life?