Bits & Bytes: Giving ThanksWe may have to dig down at times - but it is important to recognize and give thanks.
Thank You’s Are Important
November rolling around means many things for many people. Fall colors, first snows, changing of seasons, an extra hour of sleep (except AZ), family, a cozy feeling and Thanksgiving. In work and in life – it is tempting to bypass an opportunity to say a sincere Thank You because the recipient may already know that they are appreciated. Just like “I Love You”, finding a balance of use is important. If I say “I LOOOVE Taco Bell.” and then turn to my wife and tell her I love her – what is that saying about the word love? The same applies to Thank You. Say it too much and it lessens the meaning, but don’t say it at all and you are not a nice person.
The use of Thank You is also about HOW you say it. A thank you in passing under your breath as a stranger opens a door for you has a different impact than a thank you while making eye contact and smiling. With all that is going on in culture and society right now regarding the recent election (we are not getting political here…) – imagine what the world would look like if more folks offered sincere thanks to others on a regular basis. This doesn’t require agreeing, thank you doesn’t imply you have changed your mind or perspective, but that you simply appreciate something about another person. I have never, ever felt anger or frustration after someone has offered me sincere thanks. Those two words – thank you – have the power to break down barriers other words cannot. I hope we can offer more thank yous this year – not just on one day in November.
How you receive thanks also matters.
Rarely are we offered advice or taught how to give thanks, but even rarer is how to receive it. We (I included) are inclined to add on to a word of thanks or affirmation. Think of this scenario – a parent walks up and says “Thank you for helping my son get his application in on time”. Most of us will add something like “Oh it wasn’t a big deal – I do it for all my kids”. Similarly, when given a compliment – “Your hair really looks good this morning!” – we say “oh no – it’s nothing special. It really doesn’t look all that good”. We take another’s thanks or compliment and add our own flavor to it.
I have been practicing (not perfecting unfortunately) accepting thanks and compliments when they come. Not adding any additional comments or feelings to it. Simply saying “Your welcome” or adding “thank you” to a compliment. It feels good to be able to take someone else’s words as they are. While helping that student get their app in on time is part of your job and maybe not that big of a deal – it may be for that parent. They may have been anxious about the process and glad you were able to help. To them it IS a big deal and by saying it was no big deal – we take away their offering of thanks and qualify it ourselves. This is something I am working on.
Luckily – it is fun to practice getting thanks and compliments when offered. So I hope you offer many words of sincere thanks this month, but also practice receiving thanks.
Carol of The Middle School Counselor has been a SUPER partner and driving force behind the School Counselor Community Scholarship. Thank you for stepping in and helping drive it to where it is now and where it will be in the future. It would not be nearly as successful without you. I appreciate your help and partnership!
Joanna is my principal and I am very thankful for her guidance and support (I will tell her this in person too!). You are so caring for our students, which is not always a typical attribute of an administrator. I value that I can learn from you each day and that you give me the freedom to learn, grow and expand my understanding of school counseling.
My wife – Jackie
I am not sure where I would be without you and I thank you for the continued love, support and fun we have together. I am not perfect by any means and thank you for loving me anyway.
Twitter #scchat PLN
I cannot say how thankful I am for my digital Professional Learning Networks! I appreciate the fact that I can ask a question, look for resources, find support and also be guided when lost or learning. Whether we connect on Twitter or Facebook – know that I appreciate you all and your expertise has made a difference for me as a professional and my students that I work with daily. Thank you.
The state of school counseling in California hasn’t looked brighter or had better leadership than it has right now and in the last few years. The energy, enthusiasm and pure passion to see school counseling be seen as essential – not extra – in CA is amazing. Thank you for letter me advocate with you and be a part of the team.
You – the reader
While I would likely write this blog even if nobody read it – I am honored that you do. The fact is – I learn just as much from writing these posts and interacting with you as I hope you do from reading. It is fun to get to meet you in real life when the chance is afforded and getting to connect in other ways. Thank you for reading and I look forward to a great 2017.