Being A Gracious Person

I received an award a couple of months back for some of my volunteer work with Northwest Development Officers Association (NDOA), our local fundraising association. I had no idea that I was receiving the award. A couple of my friends strategized together to bring me to the event, and during the announcement I was shocked. It so happened that one of the board members at the foundation where I work was at the event and she sent a covert email to my boss. As a result my co-workers surprised me with an acknowledgement and I received congratulations throughout the week from other board members and executives at the hospital. It was a great honor and I really appreciate NDOA and all of my friends and colleagues’ acknowledgement.

I realized that I am not as gracious a person as I thought I might be. I was dumbfounded as to how to be appropriately thankful for the respect and commendations from so many people. So I thought I’d put it out to you.

What do you do to thank people in a gracious way? What kinds of actions do you take to show your appreciation? What kinds of things do you say to the people acknowledging you?

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2 Responses to Being A Gracious Person

  1. Miriam says:

    I love the questions you pose, most likely because I have struggled with the answers myself. My answer to the first question is I usally thank people by sending a handwritten note that is very personal and speaks directly to what I am thankful for. Some people like public attention and some do not, so before I thank someone publicly, I often will check to see if they are ok with it. For instance, I publicly thanked and gushed about the campaign chair of our recent building campaign at a board meeting (she is a board member). Afterwards she told me she really does not feel comfortable with public acknowledgement which was a huge lesson for me because I assumed that she would love it.

    Another thing I try to remember to do is if I am being publicly acknowledged, I broaden the focus to include others who helped in the journey…make it bigger than myself so to speak. This also gives me the opportunity to talk about our agencies mission or whatever the award is about. I do have room to improve here though! It is easy to say things in the quiet of ones office but harder to remember to invoke them when you are surprised with an award.

    Congratulations on your award! Relish it and be proud of your accomplishments!

  2. nat says:

    great post Jason– and thank you for all that you do…

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