As I went for my run this lunchtime, I put on my gear, got ready to go, and went out the door. The initial part was hard my legs were stiff and really hurt. As I ran along my normal route I approached a couple walking in the other direction, I nodded, and then I heard it, the loaded “thank you”! It shook me a little because I thought had done enough to acknowledge that they had moved out the way, but clearly I hadn’t. This sat with me for the rest of the run – the loaded ‘thank you’ or rather the thank you that says F U.
So why is The loaded ‘thank you’ important?
When we communicate we make huge amounts of assumptions about what other people are doing and where they are in space and time. Working with individuals who have neurodivergent traits often means that their view of the world is slightly different. That doesn’t mean that you feel any less, or that you care any less, but it does sometimes mean that you communicate differently. This situation often means that there are misunderstandings that can lead to a huge amount of anxiety and stress.
The problem with this is?
If it isn’t addressed and we are not educated in how to create space to understand other people, we can make poor choices about how we communicate with them. This can lead to teams that don’t work functionally, office places that become toxic and hostile and ultimately individuals that could add huge value to organisations not staying.
The implication of this is?
Quite simply organisations will not be as effective or as inclusive as we would like them to be and as a result, we will spend money, time and effort trying to recruit people that ultimately will not stay. This has implications for how well organisations run as well as what other people think of them and how well they engage with them in what is becoming an increasingly challenging marketplace to obtain and retain talent.
The need is quite simple, we must think about how we communicate and the assumptions we make about the people we are communicating with.
The people I ran past had no idea what was going on in my head. For all they know I could have lost someone dear to me or I could be experiencing extreme trauma. They made me feel that my nod wasn’t good enough and in a small way that matters!
So what do you think about the loaded ‘thank you’?
When have you felt like giving a loaded ‘thank you’ to someone?