The Epicness of Awesome-Grams & Other Thank You's
Awesome-Grams, or, notes, displays and deeds of thanks, praise and appreciation are easy to write, lovely to read, and can boost productivity, rapport and improve a relationship personal and professional. Sending these is a great replacement behavior for the bad habit of nasty-grams. And for all you Ebineisers out there, sending awesome-grams as a habit can save you real dollars, bring more material perks as well as present new opportunities and prospects. Thank you’s are affirmations of appreciation. They help us acknowledge and celebrate the good things in our lives and counteract our tendency to simply note the negative disruptions and experiences. The smile the awareness brings puts a spring in our steps and we can sail through our days with light and happy hearts. How do we get started? Who do we thank? What are the perks? Have any examples: Read on kind sirs and madams.
The purpose of sending an awesome-gram is to:
- Send praise when we feel it and recognize that credit is due.
- Cultivate an appreciation for what we have and enjoy in our lives right now.
- Strengthen relationships- Nurture the real ones with real interactions where, when and how we can.
- Enjoy the fruits of being a person who recognizes the value of others and expresses that value.
Yes, it takes more time to do these things, but chances are, when it comes to personal and professional relationships, you’ve spread yourself and your efforts mighty thin across all the networks floating around out there. To make up for the time, retract some social networking time to focus on engaging the relationships that you recognize as meaningful, and pour some TEE (Time, Effort and Energy) into making their epicness felt by all involved.
Choose a Target
In search of a new high to boost your energy and excitement? Start with an attitude of gratitude. Think of the people and things you really love and appreciate write now. If you are struggling to think of specific people, take a look in your pockets, purses, and briefcases, consider the services you depend on and maybe take for granted.
Consider these examples:
- The FedEx/delivery Man
- Local barista at your favorite cafe (Note to self: Send Frank @NakedLounge on 11th and H an Awesome-Gram)
- Family- surprisingly, many of us are pampered, spoiled and supported by family and fail to really acknowledge as we should.
- Team members and support staff who help make your work rock! Your secretary, personal assistant, CPA, lawyer, etc.
- Last but not least, your SPOUSE! Don’t forget them. As George said in his two commandment bit, the first commandment is “Honor and cherish the provider of thy nookie!”
If you are still struggling or just want to add to your Awesome-Gram recipient list consider this:
Behind every app, service, company, there are people. Stop thinking, B2B, B2C, get back to P2P, People to People and Person to Person.
More potential recipients:
- Web services you adore but don’t consider their epic nature: Amazon Prime, Dropbox, Logmein, Netflix, WordPress,
- Restaurants and cafes you love and frequent (if only for their free wifi), who consistently give you a culinary experience worth coming back to- even chains deserve love. Chipotle,Khatmandu Kitchen, India Oven,Starbucks, Panera, etc.
How to Reach them
Great Mediums for Awesome-Grams:
- Vocal cords dummy- That’s right. You can simply say “Thanks. You’re awesome. You made my day.”
- Paper- you know- that thing you use to print Groupons and directions on. Paper is an awesome medium. The tactility of paper, and tactility in general, are undervalued in the digital age. The reality is, something printed on nice paper, has a weight and feel to it that we unconsciously assign and cherish.
- Napkins/Post its- Fan art, for example, is cherished by individuals and companies alike. See my Chipotle napkin example, that I Instagramed and tweeted. Bask/Laugh at my artisitic prowess but the folks @chipotle loved it.
- Happy Medium: iOS users- the Cards app (by Apple) allows you to put together awesome cards from your mobile device, that you can have printed and mailed for $4.
- Twitter: Find their twitter handles and send them a public thank you. Not a canned thank you. Be human. Insert your personality.
- Email: A nice email is a favorite of mine. I print out Awesome-Grams that I get and I pin them to my board. A friend once knighted me by addressing a snail mail letter to “Sir Nicholas McGill”. I keep the envelope on my cork board.
- eCards: $10 a year gets you unlimited access to Hallmark’s ecards. At that point you have no reason to avoid the regular sending of Awesome-gram eCards.
- Gift Cards- You can send all sorts of Gift Cards from companies like Amazon and Starbucks, and even use Facebook to do it. How easy is that. Who doesn’t appreciate material gifts?
What do I say?
- Make it personal, genuine and authentic. It’s okay to sound like an idiot when you’re saying thank you. People appreciate it even more if you’re stumbling through it.
- Need help? try: Dear (so and so), you are (adjective for awesome/epic). I appreciate your (adjective for consistent level) effort to make my life such an (adjective for amazing). The way you (phrase for that thing they do) makes my (time frame:day/week/year) (adjective er word easier,funnier, more enjoyable-er). It’s people like you who (phrase for add a level of quality to life/the experience). Sincerely, (your name).
Awesome-Grams as an On-Going Practice Not a One Time Event
It’s true, you’ll meet limited success by delivering one awesome-gram. The goal is the habit, of consistently reaching out and nurturing the meaningful and important relationships, over the course of time. This is not a quick fix or Jedi Mind trick. It’s frosting, and if you lack substance, I strongly recommend you cultivate that before reaching out for frosting. It’s the tendency of our society to attempt to solve problems by consuming products and services, putting lipstick on the pig rather than face the pig itself and cultivate intelligence, awareness and discipline to truly transform ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to sell whatever you’d buy, but here @ Heroik, we encourage the cultivation of skills over blind consumption. A few books to boost your soft skills in this scenario: The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness and Emotional Intelligence 2.0. These are very short, straight forward books full of practical exercises and awesome-gram mentality.
ROI on Awesome-grams:
Yes, I saved this section for last, just to make the Scroogey types cruise through the more wholesome motives. If you’ve read the High Cost of Nasty-Grams, you’re familiar with the TEE (Time, Effort and Energy) and associated costs that come with managing them. Awesome-grams work in a different way. It takes a tiny bit more TEE, a small added level of effort to show appreciation in a relationship. The small things count a lot.
- You’ve set a positive tone for the relationship. The more you reinforce this, the more the other party will work to remove road blocks and obstacles on your behalf.
- Thoughtful acts breed other thoughtful acts. We get invited to social gatherings, simply for making a habit of saying thanks and you’re awesome in various, creative ways.
- It’s who you know- remember? How do you get to know them? You’re usually introduced by someone who thinks highly enough of you to stake their reputation on the introduction.
- Smart businesses reward, protect and connect their best customers. They know that it’s better to get less money per transaction from happy customers who continue to business with them. Who are their best customers and clients? They’re not always the ones who spend the most money. They’re often the uplifting, dare I say even nice personalities, who brighten up days for everyone, have good manners and show appreciation for services rendered.
- It costs little to say Thank You. And an added effort of appreciation, in whatever awesome-gram form can pay in big dividends down the road.
It $aves to be nice!
Here are some real-life examples of how we reward our clients for sending awesome-grams and verbal appreciation our way.
For some clients, we’ve kept costs the same for over a decade. Others are given awesome discounts simply for being appreciative, nice and easy going. Consider the increase in costs over the past 10 years. Think specifically of the rise in fuel and food costs both going up over 20%. Now consider the power and savings of an awesome-gram!
As a consultant, when I’m called upon to sort out a crisis or important project for a particular lobbying client, every phone call ends with the client telling me “Thanks man. You’re my hero.” 5 words that have kept their costs down and in the friends and family circle for over 10 years. That’s the power of an awesome-gram.