Have you thanked your mentors lately? If your answer is yes, good for you.Expressions of gratitude benefit your mentor, but they also contribute to your own positive psychology. It’s not only good manners to say thank you, it’s also healthy for everyone involved. If you have not done so, or if you want to take your thanks up a notch, here are some thoughts:
- Share the specifics regarding why their guidance, advice, etc. was and is important to you. You lend credibility to your compliment when you can point out, for instance, that “you have been a good listener,” or “I particularly appreciate your strategic advice.”
- If you can point to some specific positive outcome that resulted from their counsel, share that. Your mentor may be helping you to help YOU, but the knowledge that there was a tangible benefit provides a big psychic payoff for him or her as well.
- Do it in writing. A written message has far greater impact and longevity than does a brief verbal “thank you,” because the recipient can read it over and over again. Better yet, do it in your own handwriting on a nice card of piece of stationery. Taking the time to do this and to make it look nice demonstrate how much you value this person.
- Reciprocate if you can. This depends upon the closeness of the relationship and the relative formal status (workplace) of you and your mentor. Perhaps there is something you can do to be helpful in return.
- Pay it forward. You have more knowledge and skill in some areas than do other people. Find someone that is in search of a mentor, and help them. In doing so you perpetuate a climate, a culture, that is mutually supportive, where everyone has the opportunity and the resources to create a win.