Communication is a necessity in our daily life – be it with our family, colleagues, friends, customers, etc (even Tom Hanks in the movie “Cast Away” needs to communicate with the volleyball “Wilson” in order to keep his sanity in check). But how many of us actually is generous when we speak? Not many I believe.
I live in Malaysia, the place where everyone lives based on the typical passive culture. Here, the people are normally quite polite and courteous (sadly, not on the road…so…do drive carefully when you’re in Malaysia). However, they are polite from within… For example, if you happen to go to a shop and purchase something, it is normal for the shopkeeper to thank you. However, it doesn’t hurt much for you, as a customer, to thank him back for helping you in getting your stuff. How many of us actually do this?

Another example. I was in a lift with some strangers….and when the lift stopped at certain levels, I will press the “Open” button to ensure everyone goes out before I myself step out from the lift (erm…well, sometimes, the censor doesn’t work. I do this to avoid seeing people getting sandwiched by the lift’s door). How many actually thank me? 3 out of 10 perhaps. And don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting anyone to thank me. I just feel it’s funny that some people are so stingy with their words.

Also, if you want to thank someone, make sure the person hears it. If you’re a manager who appreciates whatever your employees did…..thank them so that they are able to hear. Don’t thank them for the sake of thanking them (only you can hear). Make them feel they’re appreciated. This will make them feel good about themselves. Believe it or not, it’s one of the basic skills a good manager must have.

If you’re happy with someone, tell them. If you’re grateful, thank them. If you’re not happy with them, tell them honestly what you feel is wrong based on their behavior…not on them as a person. Choose your words nicely and send your messages over. Be sincere. Be thankful. Be generous.

Remember, it won’t take you too much of an effort to thank someone, but that little bit of effort from yours, might be able to improve someone’s life/mood/day and might even prove to be more precious that you could ever imagined.