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Do You Wave?

Do You Wave?

toddler wavingDo you wave and say thank you to other drivers when you are in your car? Do you communicate  and say thank you when they let you into a crowded lane, or when they urge you forward at a shared stop sign?

I do.

It was my 8 year old that noticed it. “Mommy, why are you waving at that guy you don’t know in the other car?” she would say. “Oh, he just let me into his lane, and I wanted to say thanks, honey.”  She is a very observant 8 year old. “But you don’t know him, mommy.” I paused to think about her question, and said “I know, but if it were me letting me in, I would want someone to say thank you.”

Saying thank you – in so many ways

Everybody appreciates it when someone says thank you. And everybody includes:

  • Other Drivers
  • Your Kids
  • Your Partner
  • Your Staff
  • Your Donors
  • Your Volunteers/Board members
  • Your IT support, your suppliers, your webdesigner…..

…..well, everybody! I know you’ve heard it before that saying thank you is the first step to good stewardship.The thing I like about the “wave” story is how small the gesture is, and yet how big the impact is. With a slight wave of a hand, you can influence someone else to feel good about his deed, and you may positively impact his future behaviour: he will most likely let MORE people into his lane.

Getting creative with impromptu thank yous

Some thank yous are formal, like your letter to a corporate sponsor to thank them for their support of your golf tournament. The “wave” thank you is much more impromptu.

Examples of informal thank yous:

  • Poking my head into a programming person’s office to thank them for their help in getting a grant application out the door.
  • Spontaneously picking up the phone to call one of my volunteers to thank them for the great publicity they got the organization through their media contacts.
  • On Easter of every year I choose one person that I am grateful for in my life, and I pick up the phone to say thank you to them. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I think Easter is a great time to give thanks.
  • A hand-written thank you on a cheque, an invoice, or a letter that says “I appreciate all that you do.”
  • A quick email with a nice picture to thank someone for their volunteer hours at a certain event.

I’m addicted to thanking – it’s infectious, and it’s one of the small ways I reaffirm my connection to all those other humans on the planet.

I am grateful that I can wave and say “thanks.”  Thanks for reading my blog! 🙂

Photo credit: Flikr user Katiecarman