Stand out simply: acknowledge others

by Sylvia France, Guest Contributor

As a passionate supporter of the professional-courtesy mission championed by RediscoverCourtesy.org, it occurred to me that “walking the walk” was one thing, but “talking the talk” was another issue entirely.

Besides, to make a difference insofar as improving workplace civility, each of us has to be willing to take action. So I decided to step forward and “talk” publicly about my feelings on this very important subject.

Just last week, one of my clients told me that I had a brilliant idea in one of our weekly status meetings.

After going through the long list of possible brilliant ideas that may have escaped my mouth during our hour-long meeting, I was shocked at what he considered to be out-of-the-box thinking. He liked the idea of drafting an e-mail note to a potential partner to acknowledge the success of their recent user conference.

Yes, he responded to the benign concept of sending a simple thank-you note.

Though this CEO has been known to think about actual lines of code when answering questions from industry analysts, writing a simple note of acknowledgement was not typically on his radar screen. Understandably, his focus is typically on increasing the return on investment (ROI) for current and potential clients.

My imaginative suggestion? Besides creating game-changing and “disruptive” products or services, it is important to remember: it is the little things that can be the tipping point to closing a deal, having someone return your call, and solidifying a relationship.

Unexpected words of thanks, acknowledgement, or “thinking of you” messages are simple, memorable, and gracious ways to stand out from the crowd in our highly competitive world. Developing a habit of sending these types of notes is an important element of exceptional customer service.

E-mail thank-you notes have become standard operating procedure for either a new business call or job interview. But how about just sending an e-mail acknowledgment for being a positive resource or a job well done?

Of course, you could take this one step further by actually writing a personal note. Yes, this does mean you will have to invest in the purchase of a stamp and the recipient does not get immediate satisfaction, but it conveys the sentiment that you took your valuable time to express thanks for their efforts. Besides, when you were little, didn’t you love to get something in the mail? This does not change when we are older and in the “real” world.

In addition to RediscoverCourtesy.org, organizations like Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine helps CEOs, teams, and individuals achieve their true potential by focusing on ways to combat negative thoughts and to nurture the state of mind which is the most conducive to problem solving and creative solutions.

Part of the recommended daily ritual for positive intelligence is to send a positive message— as well as jot down three things for which you are grateful.

In our busy lives, it can be daunting to add just one more thing to our to-do lists. However, acknowledgement, both oral and written, is part of establishing a positive relationship—not only with friends, but with colleagues, influencers, decision makers, and day-to-day contacts.

This is a good reminder to all: we need to take the time to breathe and acknowledge the good people in our lives. Don’t just talk about it: do it.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Sylvia France is a Marketing Director / Digital Strategist / Executive Producer / Ring Master for Evolving Circus which provides strategic messaging, marketing communication planning and execution for  technology, consumer and retail organizations from start-up to Fortune 100 companies. Sylvia began her career in Silicon Valley and has more than with 20 years experience developing laser focused messaging and integrating advertising, digital media, social media and public relations. Most importantly, she is a single Mom of 3 boys who is attempting to live life with clarity, focus, ease and grace.

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Marketing-company entrepreneur, humorist, editorial writer and speaker,  
Randall Kenneth Jones
, is on a mission—to restore professional courtesy to today’s somewhat thank-you-repressed workplace.

A project of Jones’s Naples, Florida-based agency, MindZooRediscoverCourtesy.org hopes to shed a positive light on the benefitsof professional courtesy relating to business relationships, written and verbal communication, profitability, proactive thinking, ethics, loyalty and business operations.

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