Express Gratitude and Reduce Bullying Complaints

Express Gratitude and Reduce Bullying Complaints

In my last blog I discussed Manipulative Leaders (ML’s) and how they seem to thrive on withholding kudos and expressions of gratitude. This blog is to help you, the Manipulative Leader, and those around you to profit from a new management style: saying thanks.

When was the last time you said “thanks” to an employee in your company? Did you mean it? Do you know that expressing thanks can increase productivity, cement loyalty, and help create satisfied employees willing to “watch your back”? So, you want a piece of that action? Then here’s how you can express your gratitude!

  1. Make it spontaneous. Some employers schedule time to walk around and say “job well done”. That may help you remember to express your thanks but it seems artificial and doesn’t give you the profit you are seeking. Instead, be spontaneous and generous with your kudos.
  2. If expressing your thanks is new to you, then take it step by step. Your kudos will not be received well if you make a 180 degree turn. Go slowly until you are comfortable with saying thanks.
  3. Be reserved. Effusive thanks for every little thing done is also disingenuous. Look for the real accomplishments such as when folks stay late to meet your deadline or go the extra mile for you.
  4. Make ‘em warm fuzzies! Don’t couch your kudos with criticisms. Saying, great job BUT is pretty much saying NOT great job. If you are giving thanks and want to insert a criticism, then separate your intentions and save the “great job” for the final project.
  5. Be timely. The longer you wait to express your thanks the less the impact. People need to be acknowledged in a timely way. A day or two might work, but not much more than that. So, if you forget to say thanks, and think of it at midnight, send an email and follow up with a conversation.
  6. Be sincere. If you’re spreading compliments in order to get folks to work late or bail you out, they will see right through you. Give your thanks because you mean it.
  7. Be thoughtful. Everyone needs and feeds on relationships which are respectful, courteous and have meaning. Meaning comes from expressions of thanks. People will do very difficult work in exchange for feeling part of a team and feeling respected.
  8. Be trusting. People don’t respond to kudos by asking for more or taking advantage of you. You can be generous and thoughtful and learn to trust your employees too.
  9. Be a leader. If your workplace suffers from too many Manipulative Leaders and not enough positivity, then you can take charge. One of my clients started expressing her thanks and gratitude to everyone who worked with her. Her kindness spread out to her colleagues, bosses and bosses bosses. Pretty soon the culture of the department was shifting. Thanks became commonplace and expected instead of the rare exception.

I’m Kathleen Bartle, a strategic consultant on workplace conflict to executives worldwide for more than 20 years. My work brings individualized solutions to your teams’ lost productivity, loss of key personnel, low morale, and the high costs resulting from bullying, abrasive behaviors and interpersonal workplace conflicts. You can contact me here.

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