I almost fall off my chair the other night, when my fifteen-year-old son thanks me for the dinner he just inhaled. Initially suspicious, I’m thinking- is there a video game request pending, bad grade looming or some other infraction I don’t yet know about? Then a funny thing happens; the next night he thanks me again and this time he adds detail, “thanks Mom, the chicken was really tender.”
That got me thinking- there’s a big difference between a courtesy thank-you and a detail thank-you. A courtesy thank-you is the polite ending to your email, the way you finish a phone call or an automatic response to someone who hands you a drink at the restaurant. The detail thank-you, on the other hand, takes place when you praise the specific actions another person took on your behalf to benefit you. Often times, the details affirm your talents, integrity or simply recognize a simple act of kindness. And there’s nothing better than being on the receiving end of a detail thank-you.
The other morning, we received a detail thank-you from Rosanne Toscano, from Property Management of Andover, which read in part; “I want to thank you and especially John for the great design and installation project at our office. Everyone is very happy with the changes and our employees are enjoying having their own spaces! The office space is definitely more efficient and much more professional looking. Many of our clients have commented on the improvements. So thank you once again.”
To have had a positive impact on Rosanne and her co-workers is very rewarding. Often, we spend our days performing tasks both routine and dynamic, not always knowing how effective our efforts are. Detail thank-you’s are rewarding because they not only confirm that your methods are effective and your manners sound but that you often choose the right marinate to tenderize the chicken.
I let Rosanne know that her email made our day and asked permission to use her quote in this blog- that’s when she put the icing on the cake by replying, “Of course you can. I meant every word of it!”