It's the season of thanks. American culture ushers us into this period of time just after Halloween in late October. I can remember as a kid in school, loving Thanksgiving as the final hurrah before exams and the mid-year blitz of gifts and parties. It felt so good to enjoy the big meal and then watch football, even if the Lions were on TV.
I still love Thanksgiving even though I've left the exams behind.
Gratitude, as it turns out, never goes out of style. Even better, a grateful person is often wonderful to work with and fun to be around.
Many of us will rush through the season, hoping to survive and simply "make it" to December 25. I think that most of us can get it, that gratitude is an appropriate posture as the calendar year ends.
What is often left out of the November-December time is expressing gratitude to our bosses. At first, you might think, "Why would I do that? They should be thanking me!"
You may be right but being a gracious employee is smart. It reminds you that you have gainful employment. It conveys gratitude to your boss and guess what? Bosses love grateful employees!
I can count on one hand the number of former employees who actually said, "thanks". All of the others were thankful but very few express that gratitude.
So how do you show your boss you're grateful without being cheesy? Here are five ridiculously simple suggestions:
1. Write a note. It just needs to say "thank you for supporting me and for the work you allow me to do". That's it.
2. Send an email. Similar to #1 if you don't have the postage or the time to send a handwritten note.
3. Make a call. You get the point.
4. Make a donation in the name of your boss. Nothing says "thanks" like supporting a charitable cause. Your boss will consider you to be a better person because you're giving not only to work but to other organizations.
5. Tell someone else about your boss. (And actually say something nice about them.) This is the old Steven Covey concept of being "loyal to the absent".
Be grateful for your work and then express that to the person who supervises you. It's harder being a boss than you might think and although imperfect, he/she is probably doing the best they can.