Many of us probably can’t remember the last time we sent a thank you email with some real emotion, but I bet every one of us can remember that time that we received one.
In fact, I remember it so well I saved it to my hard drive in a special folder I call “Wow”.
“David did a great job on putting the Enrollment Day together. He was an impressive leader and guided a team of people that he’s only met once or twice like he’s known us for years! I’m looking forward to next year and I’m especially looking forward to working with David again!”
The enrollment director sent this particular thank you directly to the president of the college where I was working at the time. It seems silly to save a compliment I received over 2 years ago, but this really meant a lot to me. I was new to the organization and I had put a lot of effort into making that day something the school could be proud of.
The sad truth is that this type of recognition is few and far between. I’ve only updated my “Wow” folder twice since this particular example. I don’t know if this means I’m just not an impressive employee or that most of us tend to forget to thank others. My self-worth hopes that it is the latter rather than the former.
What I can say is that the next time this person contacted me to help him with something; I was Johnny on the Spot. I’d move my schedule to help this person if they asked and I didn’t need to refer to my folder to see if I had been thanked by this person or not. I remembered it without a second thought. With one email I had made a personal connection with someone I had only met once or twice before, made an ally in my organization, been recognized by the highest person in my organization (the president forwarded me the email), and made to feel good about something I had done.
That is a significant amount of power packed into something that may have taken 5 or 6 seconds to write. Take a second and imagine the impact you could have on someone and send that thank you. There is no telling how much impact you could create with only 5 seconds worth of work.