The humble little “thank you” email seems to have a bad rap these days. Recipients often dismiss it as a time wasters, and not for it really is: a sincere note of appreciation.
Many of us are overwhelmed with the number of emails that we get each day. And some people resent having to open / read / delete yet another email that merely says “thanks”.
The backlash against the noble “thank you” is causing me to question whether we are being too harsh. Granted, I love productivity as much as the next person, but when did our world become so results-driven that we can’t make time for social niceties? Are we getting so intense that there is no room in our day to indulge in appreciation and gratitude? Is it really costing us that much time to delete these?
The irony is that strong relationships and strong teams are often critical drivers of great results. We need to foster relationships in order to truly bring about the desired impact.
The problem with email (which dominates communication) is that it tends to strip all social niceties out of the message.
There are lots of ways to show one’s appreciation, and I recommend the liberal use of many tactics. But I will stand on record to say that I LIKE “thank you” emails. It reminds me that I’m connecting with another person – and not just a computer terminal.
I will say, however, that I prefer to see the “thank you” personalized and specific. It’s one thing to fire off a quick “thank you”. It’s another thing to take the time to spell out exactly what you appreciated and how it made an impact.
Ironically, I find that when I take the time to write a sincere and detailed “thank you”, I often get a similar reply. And it’s often a detailed, sincere note (as opposed to a “thanks for the thanks” email) that helps me to learn and charges me up. Talk about a productivity driver!
If we are truly looking for time wasters, I think that we should focus on the excessive use of cc’ing. If you can eliminate this big bunch from your inbox you likely won’t feel so edgy the next time you see a “thank you” email.
So where do you stand on this? Love ‘em or hate ‘em? I’d love to hear your comments below. I for one will not stop showing my appreciation. I think that we always need to make the time for this. Oh, and one more thing … thanks for reading this blog post.