The habit this month is Celebrate and Appreciate, and in May at the end of a school year, you often find yourself writing many thank you cards. We thought these quick tips from Chapter 12 of Onward would be helpful:
- Be genuine. Inauthentic appreciation is disconcerting.
- Speak from the heart. This requires vulnerability, so recognize your emotions.
- Talk about the impact the other person’s actions have had on you. “I appreciate how, every time I arrive at school, you welcome me with such warmth. It makes me feel happy to be here.”
- Stay focused on the recipient. Twisting an appreciation into a way to get your own emotional needs met takes away from the appreciation. For example, this is not a true appreciation: “I wanted to thank you for bringing in my kids after recess when I wasn’t out there; I was stuck in the office trying to finish making copies, and if this school functioned at all, I wouldn’t have been late.” A true appreciation would be, “Thanks so much for bringing in my kids after recess. It was a relief to know that they weren’t outside waiting for me.”
So much of this resilience work is about intentionality. So the next time you go to write a thank you card, be intentional and genuine. Share the impact! And remember that it is about the person that you are thanking!