It’s Thanksgiving week—a time to express appreciation for those around us. While the holiday highlights and encourages this act of kindness, it is a very effective management tool generally. Well-functioning teams make expressions of gratitude a regular part of their meetings. If you don’t currently do this with your teams, give it a try. It’s like a health-boosting power shot for connection and trust within the team.
I suggest a twist, however, from the great people manager guru, Ted Lasso. Have you ever noticed when Ted expresses gratefulness, he always says, “I appreciate you,” not it? I inadvertently said it recently to a colleague, and it took me by surprise. It felt peculiar and unfamiliar. Afterwards, I paused to wonder if it made the receiver feel differently, as well. Is this a good thing or bad?
As a Ted Lasso devotee and while rewatching some episodes, I realized that he always says you instead of it. It seems normal coming from the guy who is uber positive and prioritizes helping his team members become the best version of themselves over wins and losses. Maybe he’s onto something.
The beauty of you, rather than it, is that you appreciate the person more than the things they do for us. It tells the team member, “I value YOU,” and everything that comes with you.
Imagine how changing this one simple word could impact working relationships, employee engagement and workplace happiness. Our team members want to be understood, validated and acknowledged. One slight adjustment could go a long way on that front.