We’ve all had moments where we felt genuinely appreciated by someone, and their thankfulness not only made our day, but also made us want to work even harder and be even better.
But we’ve also all been in situations where we felt overlooked and undervalued. Even if the words were there, for whatever reason, the half-hearted “thanks” in passing didn’t really translate as meaningful or sincere.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping your gratitude simple. You can say “Thanks,” give an “Atta boy” or share a high five with someone to let them know you appreciate them.
But if you really want someone to feel valued and important, there are several things you can do to make sure your appreciation comes across as genuine, heartfelt and authentic.
Four Ways to Make Someone Feel Appreciated
If you want to say thanks in the strongest way possible, you should include these four things:
1. Be specific.
What are you thankful for? What did they do? The more specific you are, the more genuine you’ll come across. When your spouse picks up some extra chores around the house, rather than just saying, “Thanks for cleaning,” take it even further. “Thank you for folding all of those loads of laundry! I had let it pile up, and you did a ton of work.”
2. Include how they helped you.
What they did affected you, your company, or the greater good in some way. Be specific. When you include that information in your appreciation, you are recognizing why what they did mattered.
For example, if you’re writing a thank-you note for a monetary gift, say more than, “Thank you for the money.” Expound a bit, like: “Thank you so much for your generous gift. We are using the money for a snorkeling excursion on our honeymoon! You are directly contributing to memories we’ll treasure for the rest of our marriage.”
Or instead of just thanking your assistant for taking notes at the last meeting, specify why that helped you. You can say something like, “Thank you for taking notes at the last meeting. Since that meeting, all of us have been able to refer back to them and know exactly what we need to be working on. We’ve made progress so much faster because of it.”
3. Make it personal.
Say something kind about them as a person and the qualities that they have. This shows that you know them and care about them. Maybe say something like, “You’re so good at handling details, and since that is such a weakness for me, I really admire that about you.”
4. State your appreciation.
Explicitly stating your appreciation is even stronger than just saying thank you. You can end with something like, “I really appreciate you” or “I really appreciate all of your hard work.”
For example, you may not know this, but I have a team of people that help me with my blog posts. I’m going to take this opportunity to give you two real examples of this while also showing appreciation for my team.
Naomi, thank you so much for all of your work on my blog. I know that it takes a lot of your time to run each document through editing, not to mention find images and schedule them all on WordPress each week. Since you’ve joined the team and taken this over for me, it’s given me so much freedom to do what I love the most—write! And of course, you do everything with a smile and an amazing attitude. You are such a joy to work with and I appreciate you very much!
Amanda, thank you for all of the time you spend editing my writing. My readers have no idea how incorrect, unpolished, rough and raw my writing is before it gets in your hands. I know finding misspellings and incorrect punctuation may not seem like a big deal to you, but your work enables my message to get across to the people that need it without any distracting errors. And not to mention—you have the patience of Job! Even when I turn blogs in late every single week, you are so understanding and never make me feel bad. I appreciate all of your hard work so much!
(Those are for real. I really do have the best team ever.)
When you’re specific and when you include how the person helped you, make a thank-you personal, and state your appreciation for someone, you come across as genuine, heartfelt and authentic—all the while ensuring that the other person truly feels valued and important. Next time you want to show gratitude, resist the urge to just say thanks in passing. Instead, take one extra minute and appreciate them in the strongest way possible.
Related: Podcast Ep. 40—Top Traits of Successful Women