At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a

spark from another person.

Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of

those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer

This is the final installment of our “showing gratitude” series. Even though we may find some of our days trying, and may occasionally find work a bit of a drudgery, we can find ways to pull ourselves up, as well as those we care for and interact with. We are the primary source of our own happiness and joy. We can share this and help lighten the burdens of other often simply be showing them just a little gratitude. Making people feel like what they do for you matters, and its goes a long way….

Be grateful to your colleagues

Your co-workers have a strong influence in your life, and it is very important to show them gratitude for the things they do for you. Sometimes it may be something really big, like staying late to help you finish an important task or report, and other times it may be something more akin to lending a sympathetic ear to your tale of woe.

Regardless of what the favor is, whether it’s something big or small, they still need to feel like you appreciate them and the efforts they make on your behalf.

The key ingredients in showing your appreciation to your co-workers are:

  • Be sincere.
  • Use their name.
  • Say “Thank you.”
  • Be specific. State why you appreciate their action.

Yes, all of this seems like common sense and common courtesy, but these are two things that are sorely lacking in many of our working relationships.

1. When your co-worker helps you complete your work, offer to return the favor. For example, “Thanks, Becky, for helping me with that report. Frankly, I don’t know what I would have done without you! Let me know if you ever find yourself in a bind and I will surely return the favor.”

2. When a team member does an outstanding job on their part of the project, you can say something like, “This is wonderful, James! I can see the hard work you must have put into this. Thank you for doing such an outstanding job on it. This is really going to help our project.”

3. Here’s another showing of gratitude: “Thank you for being there for me yesterday, Mary. I really just needed to vent.”

Customers like to know that you care about them

If you own a business or work directly with customers, always remember that your financial future depends on the happiness of your clients. Show them that you appreciate their business and They will be more than be happy to do business with you again and again.

1. Keep a file with your customers’ birthdays and send them a birthday card each year. Hand-write a short note and personally sign it. Your note doesn’t have to be any longer than, “Happy Birthday, Robert! Thank you for your business this past year.”

2. Periodically send out customer appreciation discount coupons or offers to your clients. It lets them know you are truly grateful for their business and this strategy will also boost sales.

3. Have a customer appreciation social function once a year for your “VIP” clients. Many companies do this during the holidays, but you can do it anytime of the year, such as hosting a picnic in the summer.

Thank others for their quality service

When someone has made your day a little easier or a little bit brighter by doing a good job for you, let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Whether it’s the plumber who just fixed your flooded toilet, the UPS man who walked down your driveway in the rain to deliver your package, or a polite and concerned clerk who helped solve your problem, they each made sure to do something special for you.

Showing your gratitude will brighten their day, too. Plus, you may get even better service the next time because of your kindness!

  • Make eye contact, smile, and say, “Thank you! You just made my day!” or “Thank you very much.” “You’ll never guess how much that helps me out. I really appreciate your going out of your way for me!”
  • Give them a firm handshake to show your sincerity.

Not all of the expressions of gratitude that we have discussed over the last few days are applicable to every situation. But, as you can see, there are plenty of ways to show your gratitude and appreciation. In most cases, you don’t even need to go out of your way to do it. A kind word here and there or a simple “thank you” is one of the simplest of actions that will warm people’s hearts.

Try using a few of these tips to show your gratitude every day and you will find that your life being filled with more and more things to be grateful for.

And, of course, I want to thank you for taking the time to read, comment and subscribe.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomlawrence/2165738673/sizes/z/in/photostream/