The Season of Giving Thanks

Posted by on November 26, 2019

The Season of Giving Thanks

One of my small career coaching groups started this month. We began by doing some foundational work, raising each person’s self awareness. Last week, we used the Keirsey temperament assessment (i.e., a more robust and accurate version of Myers Briggs) to show each participant how they fit in the context of the other temperaments. A lot of a-ha moments happened for folks.

The next morning, I had thank you notes from 2 of my 5 participants. Here are a couple of brief excerpts: “Thank you so much for the discussion last night. It really helped me to learn more about my previous work situation… A lot of light-bulbs came on for me and that is extremely reassuring and comforting. Again, thank you!” And “Jen, I am getting so much from the coaching. Thank you for putting together a program that is so holistic. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner…”

I am so grateful all year long to do the work I do, whether it’s in groups or one-on-one. I know coaching makes an impact on folks – even when I don’t know how or how much! But getting detailed thank you notes from people is really meaningful. When someone takes the time to specify what was helpful, that’s high-quality feedback that is usable and creates lasting good feelings. (For more on the power of a thank you, see:

So grateful for you!

This past week I was also working with a team at a local organization that serves children. We talked about the skill of giving positive acknowledgement. Here’s the exercise they did: on a note-card, write a thank you to someone you know personally or professionally. Include what they did AND the strengths/skills/characteristics they used to do it. They had a lot of great examples of colleagues and family members going above and beyond, being helpful, and having a great attitude while doing so. The participants all agreed – and were even eager – to give the person their thank you.

When you thank someone (i.e., give them specific, positive acknowledgment/feedback), it creates good feelings in them. There are additional benefits though. Positive acknowledgement is one of the ways that we teach others to treat us. If someone does something you like and you thank them with specifics, it makes it more likely they will repeat that behavior. And it creates good feelings in the giver, too!

Who deserves a thank you from you during this season of gratitude? Please take time to tell them what they did and how they did it. They’ll thank you for it!

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m very grateful for you!

p.s. Every November, I write a blog on gratitude; it’s that great of a topic! If you want more thoughts or exercises (or a little musical accompaniment or a poem), check these out:

p.p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at