So – are you cooking today?
Here in the U.S., this is Thanksgiving, a major holiday when most thoughts turn to turkey and dressing, family and friends.
Many of us will tune in to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then we’ll enjoy a huge, delicious meal before dozing, off and on, through an entire afternoon of football. It’s a happy tradition.
Life slows down a little.
We gather to recognize and celebrate those things for which we are grateful.
We stop. Pay attention. Count our blessings.
And if you’re in charge at your house, you may feel the pressure of preparing that big, special dinner – perhaps even more than you feel the pressure of serving your clients!
Of course, some of you handle it with total ease. And some of you — like me — cook with fingers crossed behind your back that somehow it actually works.
(This year, I’ll be planning a mid-winter retreat for a client’s team – instead of cooking – but I’ll do the dishes. Happily!)
And then – the compliments will start.
That was great!
The turkey looks perfect!
Wow, look at that pie. Can’t wait to dig in to THAT one…
And what will you do when that compliment comes your way?
Most of my clients do a great job of thanking others for what they do. They think nothing of tossing out a hug and a “thank you!” for this or a “great job!” for that to family members, friends or co-workers.
And if you’re a guest at someone else’s kitchen this year, betcha money you’ll tell her –(or him) – what a great job she did too.
But when someone throws an “atta girl!” out to you, you may not handle it quite as well.
In fact, some of you pick up that compliment and throw it right back.
“Oh that? That was nothing. Anybody could do that…”
“That” could be anything. Cook a great dessert, raise a great kid, create a great training or give a great talk.
But a compliment is a gift.
And when you toss it back, you are returning the gift unopened. You are declining a treasure just as surely as if you’d handed back a present wrapped in beautiful, shimmering paper – unopened, refused.
I know you would never mean it to be that way – but that’s what you’re doing.
And that is yet another way that you are blocking the flow of positive energy.
So when someone says something nice to you, they are offering a gift – through words. Receive them well. Resist the temptation to deflect praise with a careless, “oh that was nothing.”
Just say thank you.
No modifiers. No little statements afterwards that take it all back. Just a simple smile and a thanks – and that’s IT.
By all means, do stop to give thanks on this special day…
but practice receiving thanks, as well.
Oh, and here’s a quick bonus tip!
If they offer to help with the dishes? Say thanks – and yes – to THAT, too.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!