Polish Your Kindness: Learning to Say Thank You

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Be kind to Others

There is a pretty simple concept which speaks to being kind.
Ellen DeGeneres has made “Be kind to others” her mantra over the last several years. And you know what? she’s right.  There is no greater gift you can give.

Why wouldn’t you use that gift in your home, with your friends or in a place of work… as an employee, as a colleague, as an HR professional or as a boss?

We have opportunities every single day to give something away for nothing, zilch – for free. And it’s my favorite part of my day – the part where I say “Thank you”…
How do we forget this very simple phrase which our mothers and grandmothers drilled into our heads?

When I get my coffee perfectly prepared by a Gen X-er slaving away at my favorite Starbucks, I say “Thank you.” And I mean it. 
When I have a graphic design come back to me which was exactly what I was looking for, I say, “Thank you.” And I mean it. 
When someone else does  the grunt work that I have no idea how to do, I say, “Thank you.” And I really mean it…

Mean it.

The best way to retain quality employees is to appreciate them.  We know this. We read it, we hear it, and we write it. Why is it that we struggle so hard to do it?

I have been blown away by former colleagues who berated subordinates or made the people around them feel like crap. Guess what?  None of those people still work for the organizations where I witnessed their behavior. I just don’t get why living the Golden Rule is so difficult for a seemingly intelligent person.

Golden Rule = Universal Code of Ethics

From Wikipedia: There are several ethical standards that are considered to be self-evident, and seem to apply to all people throughout all of history, regardless of cultural, political, social, or economic context. The non-aggression principle, which prohibits aggression, or the initiation of force or violence against another person, is a universal ethical principle.

This is why the “Knockout Game” shocks us so much.  Why is this fun? Is it fun? What is the matter with someone who would act this way or think this is ok? The moral grip has been loosened when such behavior is allowed to continue.  An “eye for an eye” no longer seems so rudimentary.

Switch it Up

Kill ’em with kindness was never more relevant than it is today.  Tell those you love that you love them. Tell those for whom you are grateful thank you. Thank your employees, colleagues, and friends. Thank family members. Thank your mother. Thank your father. Thank your children. Be thankful.  Make that part of who you are.  Be kind.
And make everyone else wonder what you are up to…

What part of you will you leave with people?  The good or the bad? How will they speak of you when you are gone? And I don’t mean dead – I mean when you walk out of the room. Will you be the caboose of the gossip train? Will eyes roll on your behalf?

It’s pretty simple what employees want

What employees really want is a clear understanding that there is a plan – a plan in place for them to be a valued team member of the staff and organization.
Isn’t this what every employee wants – no matter their level? To just know that we, the employees, provide value and in return, we are valued. – “Hire to Retire: Maintaining the Dash

Oh wait, you mean this can be part of the retention plan??

Place value where it is due and give value when a spirit needs to be raised.  Here’s a hint: everyone needs to be raised. Every day, all the time. You can do it. You’ll be surprised by the return.

by Rayanne Thorn


Maintaining the Dash series…
Hire to Retire: Maintain the Dash
Polish Your Kindness: Learning to Say Thank You
Defining Commensurate: It’s not so easy…
HR’s Quest: Enhancing Performance Management
Nurturing Talent: Providing Opportunities for Growth
Leadership Development is a Strategic Business Priority

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  1. As one of Rayanne’s co-workers, thank you for being you. This is so true. Every employee, regardless of their seniority, wants to know they matter and are making a difference – big or small – take time to acknowledge the effort.

  2. This should be printed by everyone, regardless if it is hanged on the office’s wall or at home, Rayanne. Treating each other with kindness is also a form of respect and we all need to feel like we are appreciated, due to the fact that if we trust ourselves more, our productivity will increase. It is really astonishing how some simple words can change moods and perspectives all together.

    Madeline Danielle |

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