Destination Imagination teams are rolling toward the state tournament. We’re hosting another meeting at our house tonight.
Sasha Dichter brings up an excellent point,
“In asking for help, you are often giving a gift to someone – exposing your own need and vulnerability (which can be hard), and giving them an option to shine.”
And he follows with,
“You have the same opportunity to be generous in return. Sure, you can thank someone. Much better, though, is to let them know how their help helped – be very active here, very specific, and share your success, bathe them in that same warm glow.”
But how can we be more specific? How can you do more than thank someone? Here are some ideas.
- Respect the person – Understand the person well enough to understand if they are uncomfortable with heavy praise. Don’t be uncomfortable if they refuse something you offered in exchange. Perhaps a thank you is enough.
- Explain specifically how they helped – Sasha gets it spot on here. What did they do that helped you? Did they give you encouragement, an answer, or something physical? How did it change you? Describe the specific effect of their actions on you.
- Return the favor in kind – This is possibly good. If your spouse does ten loads of laundry in a weekend, he or she will certainly appreciate it if you do it next weekend. But what if your co-worker brings you a cup of coffee? If you immediately bring him or her a cup of coffee in return, it doesn’t really show much thought. And it may appear as though you feel guilty.
- Write a thank you note – Not everyone and not every situation merits a thank you note. But some do. Don’t be afraid to say thanks in writing especially if someone’s help took up a lot of their time.
- Buy them lunch – Lunch is a nice way to say thanks and get to know someone better.
- Offer someone a ride home – If you drive and they use mass transit, offer the person who helped you a ride home even if its a little out of your way. Chances are they’ll appreciate a shorter commute.
- Be creative – Finally, try to think of something different that would be appreciated. Can you give some of your time? Do you see a need that you can fill? Have you looked?