When you look up the meaning of thankful, the synonyms are what you would expect: appreciative, grateful, and well pleased. A surprise to me was in addition to the expected descriptions, the word “relieved” is listed as a synonym for thankful. It totally makes sense—when you’re expecting a negative outcome and the pendulum swings in your favor, thankfulness quickly replaces anguish.
Feeling “thankful” is an adjective describing a feeling rather than a word dictating an action that one should or shouldn’t do. Someone can tell you to be thankful but it is ultimately up to you to choose whether you want to think and feel thankful or chose to be indifferent or entitled.
What about the feeling of thankfulness at work?
The old Oscar Wilde quote “The only way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one” holds very true. During the recession, I witnessed many who would’ve given anything to be back at work and have the job they were disenchanted with.
Many of us who are truly thankful don’t always know how to genuinely articulate our appreciation to others throughout the day. Some of the things we take for granted in construction that we should express true appreciation for might be:
“Thank you for speaking up so we could address (resolve) the issue.”
“I appreciate your (your team’s) dedication to the project.”
“Thank you for stepping in and taking leadership in someone’s absence.”
“I am grateful for your expertise and knowledge and you assisting us.”
“Thank you for setting the example to others on your team.”
Construction is a team game. If a project is in trouble it is usually due to compounding issues that one person may be pushing over the top. Individuals that can identify shortcomings and redirect for success are your keepers, but they may resign on you if they don’t feel your appreciation.
Often people are in fear of speaking up, demonstrating their knowledge, or going above and beyond. This fear is usually triggered from past experiences where doing what is right cost them their job or discredited their reputation. When you as an employer, co-worker, or leader personalize your appreciation, you reinforce your ability to recognize the value of a person and their action while encouraging them to better their performance. You also set the tone for rewarding what is right.
No matter what your situation currently is, you chose to be there and the others around you chose to work with you. That is one thing to be appreciative of as you continue to communicate through the right time to stay or go.
Thankfulness – Do you show and feel it with your words and actions?
We are thankful for you, your business, and taking time to read our blog.
Suzanne Breistol on behalf of the FLCC Team