Simple, Powerful Messages

Last week I was on a panel with several other people to discuss some of the local housing challenges we’re facing in our part of the world right now. One of the other panelists, I’ll call him Mr. Smith, was someone who I’d worked with on housing related policies for the past 4+ years, and we’ve occasionally ended up on the opposite side of issues. We’ve never been in an argument, either one-on-one or in a group, but we have disagreed with each other on how to approach some issues that the groups we were involved with were addressing. So, while I don’t think Mr. Smith would think of me as his enemy, he probably thinks of me as his nemesis in certain situations.

Towards the end of the panel presentation we were talking about a new government-funded program that is being rolled out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and that Mr. Smith’s department was responsible for creating and administering in one of our local cities. There are four local government’s that are crafting these types of programs and in my opinion Mr. Smith’s department had done as good a job as any in getting their program off the ground, and they’d done so in a very trying environment. I shared that opinion during the panel discussion, and honestly didn’t think much of it. It was my opinion, which may or may not be worth anything, but I’ve always felt that if someone does good work then you might as well say so.

The panel discussion happened at midday. Around four that afternoon I received an email from Mr. Smith that said, “Jon, Thank you for the kind words about the program. My staff and I really appreciate it. Have a good weekend and stay safe.”

That email made my week and it reminded me of the power of a simple “thank you”. It also reminded me that people always appreciate being appreciated especially when they do the kind of work that is invisible, or when it is visible, it is criticized. With that in mind please take a moment to recognize the folks who have made a positive contribution to our world – not only will it make their day, it will make yours too. And if someone does that for you, just remember to say “Thank you.”

*Quick note: I originally wrote this on my LinkedIn account. My apologies if I’ve bored you twice without notice.

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