November 14, 2006

Thank people in public

Did you know that sometimes people like to be embarrassed for a good reason? They like to blush, shrug and say, "gee, thanks, stop-it-really!"

That's why even though some people act surprised and humiliated when a crowd of strangers sing happy birthday to them at a restaurant; secretly they feel wonderful and warm inside. They feel in the moment.

When you are at work, you have dozens of opportunities each year to thank someone for their contributions. Someone helps on a project, goes the extra mile. Someone was the ‘difference maker’ in a successful launch. Too often we don’t let that attaboy opportunity serve as “a stage where we can create a memorable experience”. We thank them in private and usually in an understated way. We are discreet about it. We are cool about it. Its cultural. Too many people don’t want to be singled out because they fear that others will get jealous and make their life miserable (like work was some sort of prison yard). So we oblige them with discretion.

When we do this, we minimize the return on appreciation. This is like saying happy birthday to your live in son, via an email from your black berry. It’s not a bigtime experience to match the bigtime day.

This doesn’t mean we should over do it, though. We should learn to make our thanks commensurate to the value-add. If someone did a little thing for you, thank them casually. If they moved a ball up a hill for the team, make a production out of it – and don’t spare the pile-on! Get others to thank them too. The emotional experience will inspire them and you will create a virtuous circle of energy in your group. The more public we are about thanks, the more we create an environment where people want to exceed expectations – and not just muddle along.

The value of thanks will have future thoughts too, but let this be my first word on the subject.

Visit my official website for more resources on attitude, likeability and improved outlook. Get on the virtuous circle and off the vicious cycle!

Recommended action: Single out one person and one place this month for a public thanks experience. Get two other recipients of value involved.

Let me be the first to do this by thanking David Jay at Open Source Photo. Several hundred people were referred to this blog yesterday by David (The Paul Galvin Story). Thanks dude, you are one of the first bloggers that's picked up Sanders Says. You rock and your blog is excellent.

Read: The Experience Economy by Pine and Gilmore (and apply it to your relationship life).

PS -- Thanks for Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone) for the mention in his newsletter. Sign up for this incredible resource here: Never Eat Alone Online.

VIDEO COMPANION TO THIS IDEA: Let your gratitude be your shield against going "Kramer" on someone next week. Check out this video.

Visit my Ebay store to buy my DVDs as well as collectibles such as a rare Dale Carnegie book.

Posted at 12:03 PM in Relationship Management  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)



Much appreciated Tim. The strategy mentioned in the video-complement will help me greatly. I fit the example exactly. Frustrated morning, temper tantrums (aggrevated by quitting smoking), and an unwanted sour puss attitude at work.

I used to be fun and exciting, happy most of the time. Of course, I was a smoker then, but I think it's mostly because I was excited to be learning new things and I appreciated the people I was working with.

Lately I've had less "obvious and direct" mentoring from co-workers but that doesn't mean I have less to be thankful for.

Thanks for the great advice! -Aaron


Love this post Tim. I am normally a habitual "public thanker"...not to the extent that it becomes cheap or meaningless, but I truly enjoy drawing attention to the "difference makers" whenever an opportunity arises. I believe in team and that all wins belong to the whole team - but I also notice that winning coaches don't hesitate to acknowledge the great plays of particular individuals after a win.
Here's a question: I work for a boss that has a "scarcity mindset" and am wondering if "scarcity" is contagious? I have never struggled with this disease before, but lately find myself thinking more and more like him and fighting against thoughts of "lack".
Is "scarcity mindset" contagious?


Along with everyone else who heard about your book from DJ, thanks for putting your thoughts and experiences in to words with Love is a Killer App! Great book!


I was referred to your book from DJ...and, like him, I think you're awesome. Thanks for dispensing your knowledge and being a Love Cat. :)


Tim, you words resonate in my mind every day as I put them to practice and watch my world change for the better! Dane Sanders sent me to your book (Love is the Killer App) a while back around the same time he sent it to David Jay. It's really amazing how powerful love can be when it's worn on your sleeve. Thanks for being so awesome!

May God continue to richly bless you!
Mike Colon


I as well heard about you thru Daivd Jay. I am currently purchasing your book "Love is a killer App" and can't wait to see for myself the amazing things people are saying abou this. Thanks!!
Damion (OSP)


Yeah! Thanks Tim and DJ! Tim, your "Killer App" book is amazing! Thanks to DJ for turning me onto your book and your blog.

We all got together and checked out your telecast presentation at Maximum Impact this year. Thanks so much for investing in those around you Tim...even perfect strangers like me :)


I heard about you through DJ! :)
Such a great post! Thanks for all you do to share! Yeah DJ definitely rocks and so do you!


You're too kind! Wow! Thanks for all you've shared with me through your books, blog, and presentations.

Many blessings!


David Jay rocks the party! His forum was the first place I heard anything about what you do & I've since subscribed to your blog through my Bloglines.

~Matt (another OSP'er)

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In