In Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence people, one of the most important qualities he mentions in getting along with people is honest and sincere appreciation.
What happens when you don’t show others appreciation? You communicate that you don’t care what they’re doing, that they really don’t matter all that much to you, and that what they do is of little significance. After all, if what they’ve done did matter to you, or others, someone would notice, wouldn’t they?
Contrast that to acknowledging people’s contributions and appreciating them for their efforts. You’re sending them a completely different message. You’re showing the person that what they are doing is so important that you remember every little detail. Not only that, what they are doing is so valuable, it must have similar effects on other people, too. In turn, that must mean what they’re doing is creating a lot of value for a lot of people and possibly altering their world for the better.
Studies have shown that not only do people who have shown appreciation feel more positive about themselves but, also, others feel more positive about the individuals who have shown them appreciation. In fact, entire towns have caught onto this concept and have turned showing appreciation into a public relations opportunity.
The town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, sends out thank you notes. And not to its most upstanding citizens, it sends them to people who would have otherwise gotten a parking ticket. In the past, those who have overstayed their parking meter time received a ticket resulting in a $15 fine. Of all cars ticketed in Chapel Hill, 33% of them are first-time offenders. However, town officials now do something rather unique; first time parking offenders won’t find a citation on their windshield if their meter runs out. Instead, they receive a thank you note that reads, "Thank you for visiting downtown Chapel Hill."
The town calls this a "courtesy ticket" program and dismisses first-time violators' $15 citation. The city will lose over $12,000 in lost fines, but stands to gain positive association from the many visitors and shoppers who frequent the town.
Do you need a little good public relations? Try showing someone appreciation today. Did someone say something nice to you? Tell them you appreciate how nice they are and how much their words encouraged you. Did your CA go out of her way to do something special for you or a patient? Let her know. Do you have a patient that brightens your day with their timely visits? Send them a card letting them know how much you look forward to their visits. Or, take the lead from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and send a note of appreciation to someone who is completely unsuspecting. The core of showing appreciation is to convey the message to the other person that you appreciate something they have done for you or others. Usually, just saying it sincerely is sufficient to convey the message.
Something that costs you little time and money could mean the world to someone who so desperately needs to hear that their actions make the world a better place.
Since writing a note of appreciation is going to have a major impact on someone, it’s important to do it right. Below is a summary of how to write a good thank you note, by Rosalie Maggio, in her book, How to Say It.
Write the note promptly.
Mention specifically what you are thankful for.
Express your gratitude in an "enthusiastic, appreciative way."
Tell why you like what you are thanking them for.
Close with one or two sentences that are unrelated to the object of your gratitude (i.e., saying something nice about the person, sending greetings to the recipient’s family, mentioning that you will see him or her soon.)
Never express more than you feel. In worst case scenarios, a simple, "Thank you very much" will do.
In closing, never underestimate the power of appreciation. The principle of having an attitude of gratitude will not only take your practice further in the eyes of the public, but will also echo the truth in B.J. Palmer’s statement that says, "We never know how far reaching something we may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow."
Tom Owen III, President of AMC, lectures extensively from coast-to-coast to thousands of chiropractors and students annually. He is the author of Chiropractic from a Business Man’s Perspective, and has spent the last 25 years in the day-to-day trenches of the chiropractic profession. He lives by his quote that "In the end, all that is left are the lives we’ve touched and to what extent they were changed."
Dr. Osborne, a 1989 graduate of Palmer College, ran a successful high volume multiple doctor practice, and is currently Vice President of AMC, Inc., as well as an author and lecturer. Visit www.amcfamily.com or call (877) AMC-7117 for more information.