April 24, 2010
Every once in a while my friend Mark will look at me and ask “why’d you say that?”
After a pause he’ll add, “out your mouth.”
He’s channeling a woman we used to work with at WDMT. She was funny and fun to be around. She was both small and larger than life at the same time.
In one minute she’d complain that the kids calling the radio station were getting on her nerves and in the next she’d laugh at something you said and punctuate it by saying “that’s funny.” After a pause she’d add something like “want a grapefruit.”
There was always a pause.
Before she finished.
In Tom Peters book “Big Little Things” he talks about the importance of the words “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” at work. These are not words to be said lightly. They should be felt and delivered often.
How many times have you heard those words where you work in the last few months.
Here’s something you may be forgetting. Every time you say “Thank you” or “I’m sorry” counts. Every time you speak words for better or worse you are contributing to the mood and environment at work.
I know you get tired of being the only one to say “Thank you” or “I’m sorry” but it’s important. Keep doing it. Don’t count how often or seldom your colleagues reciprocate. It might just not be in them.
I know I can’t change other people but I can make sure I express gratitude or regret regularly.
Out my mouth.