It’s time for me to reboot a practice I started a while ago and it’s inspired by Ben Clark’s Twitter post.

(I’m with you Ben)

Rather than jump into the my-agility-is-better-than-yours fray, I had decided a while ago to start a new tradition of #ThankfulThursday. It’s time to reboot that idea. This is not to attract an audience or sell anything.  This is just about appreciating another person in your community (Agile or otherwise) who has positively contributed to you or the community.

The guidelines are simple:

  1. On a Thursday, write down the name of someone who has been a positive influence to you or your community.  Also write down what it was that made a difference.
  2. Decide how you want to share it.  Share it out quickly before your day gets too busy.

    If you feel they influenced the community, you should definitely share it with that community.  Let others add to your appreciation.

    If they influenced you and you think there is a broader lesson for others, feel free to post in on a blog, in social media, your newsletter, or where ever others can learn the lesson or acknowledge the contribution.  This is about amplifying and replicating the good that you experience.

    If you feel it’s more personal, send that person an email.  Or better yet, re-write your thoughts in a nice card. Bonus points for that as we don’t take the time and pause to give the gift of a hand written note often.  It’s very different and very special.  I’ve kept all the hand written thank you notes I’ve received.
  3. Tell the person face-to-face (double bonus points here)

    My friend Jean Tabaka taught me long ago the power of appreciations.    Give a solid handshake or just hold their hand, look them straight in the eyes.  Make sure you say their name as this is another form of recognition.  Let’s say their name is Mary.  Then you say something like:  “Mary, I truly appreciate how you did XYZ.  This really changed how I do things.”

    You might change the words based on the person and relationship, but the keys are: eye contact, using their name, letting them know what they did, and letting them know how it made things better.

    The physical connection (hand shake or holding someone’s hand) may be difficult for some personally or if you are on a distributed team. Don’t let that be an excuse. The true gift is sincerity in your appreciation.

So I’ll keep this one simple.

Ben – I truly appreciate the thoughts you shared on Twitter and I hope others are inspired to turn this tide into something positive.  I know you inspired me.  Thank you!

(And if we meet in person, I’m happy to shake your hand.)