Did you say “thank you” today?

When I was in the elementary school, my fifth grade teacher advised us to say “Thank you” to as many people and as many times as possible everyday. He started a trend among the fifth graders to thank others at every opportune occasion. However, being immature and young, we didn’t think much about what we were doing. Without knowing, we were emitting positive energy all around us and making ourselves as well as others feel happier everyday.

Now that I am older, I finally understand what our fifth grade teacher meant. There is physical power and energy in being grateful. There is tremendous healing in the feeling of gratitude. Greatness is achieved when one learns to be grateful and say “thank you” at every step of his walk in life. When one says “thank you,” he focuses on the positive. He shows the feeling of being at ease, communicates satisfaction, and demonstrates acceptance. When one says “thank you,” he is in essence saying that he is happy to have another person’s presence in his life and he is ready for more of such interactions and exchange of goodness. Saying “thank you” neutralizes differences in ego and removes arrogance and pride. It helps people to connect on a mutual ground.

Leaders in corporate sectors testify to this. As long as workers feel unappreciated, they are unproductive, even if they could perform better. The magical ingredient that changes inefficiency to efficiency is gratefulness. While it sounds unreasonable to expect bosses to constantly say “thank you” to workers, the result of this simple act is shocking! The inner transformation experienced by workers who feel appreciated significantly affect how they perceive work and their attitude toward their superiors. They become purpose-driven and feel proud to be part of the growth of the company. Sending workers for more seminars and workshops do not necessarily help improve productivity. This is especially true if employers fail to realize that the feeling of being appreciated is more important than the feeling of achievement. In fact, the more thankful employers are to their workers, the more achievement-driven workers become.

Saying “thank you” works wonders at home too. It is said that wives become more motivated to care for their families when their husbands appreciate them for their efforts. Children become more motivated and committed to do better in studies when their every accomplishment is appreciated. Husbands become excited about spending quality time with their wives and children when he senses gratitude flowing from his family members. In short, a happy family has members who constantly thank each other, on every possible occasion.

Can schools benefit from this? Yes! One of the easiest ways to create a positive environment in a school is by having students, teachers, administrators and staff say, “thank you” to each other as often as possible. If feeling appreciated increases productivity among workers in a company, the same feeling would increase the intellectual productivity of learners. It will also increase quality of teaching, improve administrative operation and relationship, and create nurturing and caring school culture.

Saying “thank you” doesn’t cost anything, yet its effect is more powerful than high voltage electricity.

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