The Progress Project

Thank you – the importance of inspiration and feedback

Someone being thanked for their support and inspiration

What does it mean to you when someone takes the time to thank you for how you’ve inspired them or helped them in some way?

A couple of weeks ago, I had messages from 3 different people in one day.

  1. A participant in a leadership programme I facilitated several months earlier let me know how much they / their team had benefited and the difference the programme had made
  2. A participant from¬†Build it Quickly, thanked me for the ideas I’d shared in a follow-up collaboration session, leading to her latest proposal being signed off
  3. A colleague from a few years back said that she’d got a new role and wanted to thank me for the time I’d spent mentoring her when we worked together

I loved hearing about these successes – it motivates me to keep doing what I do what I do. I’m passionate about seeing people develop and thrive – and that’s never changed.

But it did get me thinking… what about the people who’ve impacted me? When was the last time I’d popped them a message to say thank you? And would it feel all kinds of cringe to let them know? (I’m especially thinking about Senior Leaders from early on in my career. Would they even remember me?? And would it sound ridiculous to let them know?)

The very next day, I was working with a Senior Team around creating a feedback culture. One of them said to me how much she’d value hearing feedback herself – and the more senior her position had become, the less she got to hear any … from anyone – whether positive or more constructive! Yes … we absolutely talked about ways she could encourage that to happen.

And it also kick-started me into action. To let Leaders I’d worked for previously know the positive impact they’d had on me (I know I’ve been fortunate to have quite a few. I’ve also experienced the less positive – but I’ll save that for another day!)

I shared very specific examples of what they’d said/done, how it had made me feel at the time, the longer-term impact and what I’d learnt as a result.

Every single one replied. And you know what? Their responses lit me up just as much, if not more, than the feedback I’d received myself.

  1. Their gratitude that I’d taken the time to tell them
  2. That many of them have followed my progress over the years
  3. Some of their memories from working with me (which I’d totally forgotten)

Such a great way to practise ‘gratitude’ and give back to someone who’s given some inspiration to you. Why not try it out and see what impact your feedback has?

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