A Tiny Bit More Appreciate-y

Today, I learned first-hand how easy it is to overlook your own contribution to the world around you. And how easy it is to forget to tell others about their contributions.

For the last 12 years, I’ve been trying to improve, create, fix, modify, mold, shape and re-work all the technical training material for the military contract I’m on. And for 12 years I’ve heard little or nothing from the remote site people about the quality and effectiveness of the materials I’ve produced.

Today, I was introduced to the remote site management as moving to a new capacity on the contract where I’d have more authority to impact their operations directly. Several of the people expressed their excitement for me since we’ve been colleagues for as much as 20 years in some cases.

BUT…even more gratifying to me, they expressed how disappointed they were that the training material quality was probably going to shoot down the toilet now since I wouldn’t be the one taking care of it.

That few seconds helped me realize it’s pretty easy to overlook the impact I’ve had. And it got me to think…”just how hard would it have been to send me a quick email to say ‘your new book is really good’ or ‘this little movie clip is right on the money’ or even ‘thanks…I know you put a lot of effort into that’ “.

So, for the past 8 hours, since that point of the teleconference, I’ve been thinking of all the people who have a big impact on my life and how seldom I take the time to shoot them a quick note or a quick phone call or text just to tell them I appreciate them.

Starting now, I want to build a habit of telling people how much I appreciate their impact on my life. Thank you. If you are reading this, you’ve probably impacted me in one way or another, for the rest of my life. And I appreciate it very much.

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4 comments

  1. Greg — great advice. Acted on it this morning by sending a note of appreciation to someone who did some good work yesterday. Your post reminds me of advice given by executive coach and best-selling writer Marshall Goldsmith. He recommends that we make a list of the 25 people who have been most helpful to us over the course of our lives and send hand-written thank you notes to each of them.

    1. Thanks very much for the compliment, especially from someone I respect so much. Handwritten notes? I can definitely imagine the impact of receiving a handwritten note. Thanks for the recommendation on Marshall Goldsmith. And thanks for the good work you’re doing on your site.

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