Had a completely different letter planned for this morning, so this is somewhat "off the cuff". Instead, a short true story. Early this morning I picked-up my father-in-law to take him to a hospital lab for some testing. We arrived a little before 7:00, and were the only ones in the waiting room. He signed in, and we sat down, and talked about the beautiful day facing us.
He was called to go back for his blood draw, and as we walked back to the station he joked around with the nurse a bit. One of the other staff popped her head out and commented how he always arrives in such a good mood. We got to the station, a little more conversation, the task was done, and he thanked the nurse for the "good work that you do". She was practically beaming as she said "Well you're welcome."
We left and the person at the front desk wished us both a nice day. He had already brightened the day for three people that morning -- four including me -- and it wasn't yet 8:00. More than 90 years old, with many of the health challenges that you can imagine accompanying that age, and he talks with everyone this way.
So why tell that story here? Because the power of the thank you, or an unexpected kind word, is one of the biggest secrets of social media. Do you realize how rare it is that people receive a sincere thank you (especially early in the morning before coffee). Everything doesn't always have to be about business. Scratch that: everything shouldn't always be about business, even on LinkedIn.
Certainly, one of the reasons that you are on any social media site is because you want to connect with a lot of people. But what each connection really comes down to is one person connecting with another person in a meaningful way. You may share some information that is useful, or some advice that is wise. But as with all other types of personal relationships, often the most important thing you can share is that kind word or "Thank you". So to each person reading this, thank you for all of the good work that you do . . . and have a wonderful week.