Texas Hill reverse

Say Thanks

How do we say thank you to those who serve the greater good? In our hyper-busy world, even the most well-meaning people can forget to show appreciation to those who help us forge a path toward success. Most of us want to say thanks to so many people, but the words get lost behind an ever growing list of to-do's.

As a family, at the holidays or the end of the school year, we encourage our children to bring some cookies or other small gift to those special teachers who have helped them grow and learn throughout the year. While this was a common practice when I was growing up, it seems to be more unusual today. If I pass a soldier or police officer on the street or in an airport, I always try to say some kind words that celebrate them for their commitment to keeping us safe. A little tip of the hat can make a person's whole day brighter.
 
But what about those who volunteer for our local MPI chapter? Are we appreciative of all they do to make this chapter successful and special?
 
We are fortunate that this organization we cherish has amazing leaders. When they volunteer their time for the board or a committee, they are gaining experience and exposure, but we are also gaining from their service. Being a volunteer for an association like MPI is an awesome opportunity, but it can also be a lot of work without the advantage of others knowing how much effort it takes to run a chapter of an organization.
 
June is the month when our volunteers in the Texas Hill Country Chapter of MPI change roles. Some step down, others take on new roles, and new members come up from the ranks to lead our organization. I wanted to dedicate this month's Musings on Meetings article to saying "thank you" to our chapter volunteers but also remind you to find unique ways to show gratitude to others who support your world from behind the scenes. Take the time to call, email or send a handwritten note to those who have completed their term or those who are just beginning to serve. While I know that not many who read this will actually do this, imagine the delight of the volunteers who could receive the kudos from their friends and colleagues. I challenge those of you reading now to pick out a few people from our board and find a way to let them know you appreciate them.
 
And why stop with MPI? Most of you belong to other professional groups that have plenty of volunteers who could use a pat on the back. Become the leader of appreciation in the other organizations you belong to or even just around your office. Nobody ever gets a sour look on their face when someone tells them thank you. Usually, you will get a big smile in return. Yes, we are all busy, but it only takes a few seconds to show a deserving someone that you appreciate their efforts.
 
Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst," a speaker who mixes meaningful content with a high energy presentation style that results in audiences gaining new knowledge and taking action on what they have learned. Thom is also the host of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast. He can be reached through www.ThomSinger.com or (512) 970-0398.

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