The high of being thankful for friends and colleagues who help out. The low of doing favors for people who can’t be bothered to say thank you. Gratitude vs. frustration.

Normally on this blog I write about issues related to communications and marketing. The latest news orgs, business and nonprofits need to know about. Today’s topic relates to communications, marketing, consultants, businesses and nonprofits.

Over the last few weeks I experienced gratitude and extreme frustration. Let’s start with the good.

The High

I’m working on a couple of projects for clients and for my business (foreshadowing). Needing feedback to make sure I was on the right track, I reached out to three friends, professionals in their respective fields. I asked for their help in reviewing the materials I was working on.

All three immediately said yes. All three reviewed and promptly sent me their honest feedback, edits and comments.

First things first: I said thank you. Expressed gratitude. Let them know how much I appreciate their time. Each of them is extremely busy but are only too happy to help a friend.

So the proper thing to do is be grateful. First and foremost.

I consider myself very lucky that I have people in my professional network who I can “lean on” when needed. I don’t abuse their friendship but I know it’s there when needed.

However, when the tables were turned, all I heard were the sounds of silence.

showing gratitude

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

The Low

Using my network, I am only too happy to pass along gigs to consultants and companies. Plenty of things come across my desk and when I can, I’ll forward it to the person/company who I think can provide the best service possible.

No big deal. Why not help a friend who could use a paid job? Why not make a connection for someone seeking professional help? I ask for nothing in return. No finder’s fee. I feel it’s a matter of common courtesy to help where I can.

And you know what? After the last few weeks, I realize that maybe I shouldn’t expect a thank you in return. People gonna people.

I made some intros for people. Passed them potential paying opportunities. After the initial e-intro, radio silence. No follow up from the org or the consultant if they’ll be working together.

Actually, I didn’t need the follow up. I found out on my own that in the end, all the matches worked out and contracts were signed. But the parties themselves did not inform me.

When I discuss this issue with other consultants, I get a lot of 🙄 because the same thing has happened to them. One too many times. Which led me to ask: Have you worked with that company again? Same answer every time: Nope. If they can’t be bothered to email me and thank me, that tells me a lot about who they are as a person. And that’s not someone I should be recommending out.

Don't let others cause you undue stress

Sounds Of Silence

So why am I writing about this on my blog? I’m not complaining, not kvetching. But I did wanna pass this along:

When someone helps you find a job, thank them. By phone. By email. Even better? With a note attached to a bottle of wine.

But do something! If you lack the ability to communicate gratitude, you can’t expect me to pass you a gig ever again. It’ll hurt your marketing because when someone asks me for a recommendation for you…

“Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might reach you”

The Sound of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel

It’s not rocket science. Be appreciative. That’s all I’m asking.

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