When I think about gratitude, I think it should be something that is earned and something special. I believe it should be used sparingly for when you have gone above and beyond your job description or put yourself out to help someone. If we receive gratitude that isn’t earned does it mean as much?
In a previous job I worked with an overseas client from whom I had only spoken to over the phone and had never met in person. The project we were working on had many stakeholders within the business but was being run by this one contact in a different timezone. The project was demanding and we worked hard to get it delivered in time. We were on the phone to each other almost every day with no gratitude exchange just short sharp conversations about getting the job done. The project was challenging at times and we were all glad when it was complete.
A few weeks later my team received a surprise parcel to the office. It was from our overseas client, a present for the team and a handwritten note. It wasn’t anything expensive, however it was the fact the client had gone to the effort of personally writing a note and posting the parcel to us from the other side of the world. As they say it’s not the present itself but the gesture and the thought that counts.
I feel that this kind of gesture, when you have really earned the gratitude of working hard on the project means a lot more than a passing thank you every day. And we should make time for gratitude yes, but use it sparingly and make it mean something.