No human is perfect.
Everyone keeps doing some things right and some things wrong. When one person thanks another for doing a simple routine task, it installs better self-awareness in the other person for their thoughts and actions. This one act of ‘thanking others for simple routine acts’ elevates that act from ‘something I must do’ to ‘something I can do and that will bring happiness to others.
When we appreciate more, we develop more empathy for relations, work and society and changes, then our engagement with others changes for the better creating a ripple affect on enhancing relationships with others we know!
How appreciation impacts our neurochemistry
Humans crave appreciation. We want to be valued by others in our society , our teams and our relationships. Appreciation removes the fear of ‘rejection’, which is the most painful human experience universally .
Thanking others, as a ritual, releases instant happiness in the giver, and more often in the receiver too which translates into changes in levels of openness, caring and valuing others.
The unexpected side effect of thankfulness is that it helps in managing levels of stress and fear in relationships, partnership and teams. We have discovered unexpected connections between a simple act of thankfulness and appreciation for exceptional work and also for routine work that has a catalytic power on elevating the quality of relationships and conversations in the world.
The astounding puzzle of thankfulness and appreciation
In our quest for a deeper understanding of why ‘thanking others’ has a power and alchemy that brings it into every generation’s reflections on what makes society healthy and thriving, we read about what thinkers were thinking and synthesised the essence of the wisdom from 100+ thinkers from scriptures, science, psychology , philosophy and management. We also explored the universality of our humanity by meeting a lot of people on streets, in garden, hospitals, police stations, board rooms, classrooms, and slums experimenting with the impact of ‘thanking others’.
Our research uncovered that throughout history there is a surprising interconnections that emerges when we overlay right and wrong routine and exceptional (non-routine).
Let me give you more background into what this puzzle is all about. We took on a project with a 20,000-colleague company and it was now a good six months of responsibility at the helm of this company that was in the business of managing routines such as building technical maintenance, energy management and cleaning services.
We realised that human beings have a general tendency to keep the exciting work for themselves; and all else is considered routine.When caught in routine work, we often become busy flexing our conversation muscles more about the wrong in people, situations and society than work.
The routine work environment
Because of our approach towards routine work, relations are weakened at work, “change“ is seen as a blaming-shaming marathon, and getting to “exceptional right“ become okay at all costs.
And the wisdom learning yielded the following:
Every human will always have something routine and something exceptional; Every human will be sometimes right and sometimes wrong; We haven’t been adequately trained to gracefully handle the routine and the wrong; Routine needs dignity; Wrong needs positivity; Every right is an opportunity for celebration; Every wrong is an opportunity for a business model or a social model.
And then we stumbled upon the meta-strategy: “Thank you“. No, that’s not the end of this conversation. It’s actually the beginning of the solution.
Be the change
But we had another insight from our earlier interactions, “People want others to change first.“
Thanking rituals are a meta strategy for personal well being and changing society .
When people shift focus from survival and to vital interaction dynamics, the overall impact has an effect on next generation. The more we do it, the more we want it and this behaviour becomes a positive motivator in our lives.