Do you really appreciate someone's help? How do they know? (How can you let them know?)
Actually, many of us are not very good at this.
The Wrong Way to Show Appreciation
Recently, I experienced a situation where someone asked me for help, and I provided that person help--a lot of help, but this person sort of missed the boat.
This person did not really appreciate that help. I mean...this person verbalized, "Thank you" and vocalized a few other heavy-handed compliments.
However, this person did not even do anything with the help. This person failed to acknowledge that help for a couple of days, as though he really did not notice it...or was it that he just did not care enough to let me know that he got the material. He did not say anything to me until he saw me a few days later, even though he had no problem seeking help via email.
More importantly, he did not take any actions, despite me including thoroughly written instructions that answered his question.
Maybe he did not know how to implement the suggestions. Then again, he didn't ask me any questions.
It showed a lack of initiative...and a lack of genuine appreciation.
Don't get me wrong. There are worse ways to show appreciation than what this person did. At least this person was polite enough to SAY he appreciated my help. He just did not DO anything with it.
What is the RIGHT WAY to show appreciation?
Honestly, from what I've noticed over the years, it is only a 4-step process.
Connect: This person took the right FIRST step, which is to THANK that person. This can be done via most any means of communication, although Tweeting a "Thanks" is not very fulfilling. Perhaps, writing a letter, calling, or making a personal visit might show more true appreciation.
Respond Quickly: If someone provides a lot of help...that really helped you, show that person gratitude...sooner rather than later. The more effort it seems like that person made to help you, the more it makes sense to make it a priority to ensure your helper knows you recognize his or her effort. Time is important here; strike while that iron is hot.
Take Action: Now that you got that help, don't waste it. Make sure you put the portions of the ideas or help you like into action. Produce something from that person's generosity.
NOTE: Failing to take action is one of the most powerful ways to alienate someone in the future.
Nobody likes to waste time or energy, especially helping someone...who is not helping himself (or herself).
Provide Feedback: Two of the most rewarding feelings of helping someone is (a) seeing they took your advice and (b) seeing proof that person benefited from that help. Very few people take this step, and it will help separate you if you do. Plus, it will motivate your helper to help others...including maybe you sometime in the future.
These steps seem easy, but how many people do you know do all of these? (I bet it's not many!)
An Admission of Guilt: We can all learn!
Looking at my own past, I realize that I've made mistakes here. There have been times where I've failed to show how much I truly appreciate things. Other times, I've even done a poor job of appreciating help...forget showing that appreciation.
Don't worry if you've made these types of mistakes in the past. You can't do anything about them.
Just look forward to the next opportunities to show how much better you are today...to show how much you've learned to grow as a person.
If everyone showed everyone appreciation like the way we outlined it here, more people would be willing to help...actually more people would be MOTIVATED to help.
How do you show you appreciate someone's help? Did I miss anything, or do you have any neat "tricks?"