Welcome to the sixty-eight edition of “In-Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please let me know what you think by clicking here.
Story of the Week: "Saying ‘Thank You’ Costs Nothing But It Can Mean Everything"
Professional footballers are often idols and role models for millions of young people but there is also a widely held perception that they are selfish, arrogant and hugely overpaid for “just kicking a ball around for 90 minutes.” While some may fall into this category, 28-year-old goalkeeper Joe Lumley – who recently joined EFL Championship side Southampton FC – certainly does not.
Before signing a one-year contract with his new club, Lumley was in talks with Apollon FC of Limassol. Having decided to accept the offer from Southampton, he sent a personal email to Apollon Chairman Nicos Kirzis, who greatly appreciated it. I consider the player’s message to be perfect for at least six reasons:
- It was sent from his personal email, even though he could probably have asked his agent or someone at his new club to send it. His decision to connect personally says a lot about him and the way he was brought up.
- He begins by expressing his appreciation to Apollon for giving him the opportunity to sign, showing that he recognizes that such offers should not be taken for granted.
- He compliments the club, letting the Chairman know that he was impressed by what he saw. In this way he confirms that his decision not to sign with Apollon was not because he thought himself ‘above’ the Cypriot club.
- He explains the reasoning behind his decision to reject Apollon’s offer in a clear, honest and truthful manner. While the message may not have been what the club Chairman wanted to hear, it increased trust between the parties.
- His offer to reimburse the cost of his flights and accommodation and to host Nicos Kirzis in London goes beyond expectations.
- His genuine wishes for a good season and his promise to remain informed about the club’s progress indicate that he does not think any less of Apollon Limassol and leaves the door open for possible future opportunities with the club.
Gaelle Devins, the Happiness [People] Coach, says, “To say ‘thank you’ costs nothing but it gives someone else a positive psychological boost. We live in fast-moving times but by practising the act of thanking someone, you can slow things down and appreciate the time and energy the other person has given to you. It’s a nice way to be grateful for what you have been given.”
Lumley’s lessons can be carried forward to the business world too, in the form of what we call “customer appreciation” - the art of expressing gratitude to customers, making them feel seen, heard and valued. When you show customers your appreciation, you build positive momentum that will carry you both forward.
Whether in business, with friends, in romantic relationships or interactions with strangers, Joe Lumley’s email shows us the importance of remembering to be grateful, genuine and kind at all times.
Words of Wisdom
“Silent gratitude isn't much to anyone.”
“Gratitude is a currency we can mint ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”
Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
A Question to Ponder, dear friend.
“Can you share an occasion when an unexpected ‘thank you’ (from you or to you) made a difference?”