Friday, December 07, 2012

Thanks for Saying Thanks!

The purpose of this blog is to help you turn Friday night chat into conversation. Please print & share.

If you have not seen the Guitar Dreidel, the Texas Dreidel, the 101 Things to Do for Channuka, or the stylish Rambam Menorah, your Channuka is certainly not going to be complete!

You might also like to know that Apple now allows you to gift an app — such as the Amazing Jewish Fact-a-Day Calendar. It's an easy system, you pay the 99¢ and Apple either sends the recipient an email for you or gives you a digital card that you can either print or email yourself. For all the iphone/ipad/ipod users in your network of family and friends, wouldn't some of them enjoy an app that puts a nugget of amazing Jewish wisdom on their screen every day? Can you think of a better last-minute Channuka gift? 

Tonight's questions for your Shabbat table are inspired by leadership teacher Peter Bregman.

Bregman thinks that every personal email deserves a reply.

His full argument will take you about a minute or two to read, here on the Harvard Business Review.

Bregman challenges us:
Consider what saying "thank you" represents.
On a basic level, it communicates that you received the email. While there's a lot of advice that discourages writing "thank you" emails because they contribute to email overload, I disagree. I answer every real email I receive because I want to avoid the recipient's "Did Peter get my email and what's he thinking?" angst. It takes three seconds to respond "thanks" and it completes the transaction initiated by the sender.
Ultimately, saying thanks for even a brief helpful email is a moral duty: "Acknowledging each other is our basic responsibility as human beings living in community with other human beings."

Question #1 for your table: Do you agree?

(perhaps I'll know when I see what kind of replies, if any, I receive to this email ;-)

Question #2: If every act of kindness needs a thank you, and saying thank you is an act of kindness, where does it end?

Question #3: Where off-line might this be a point well taken?

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hannuka.

(Yes, that's right, I spelt it with a simple "H" even though when I pronounce it that way it drives my kids batty.)

PS - we've added two short Hannuka videos that will make you smile (I hope), on both home pages:

(if you need help downloading these videos, send me an email and I'll teach you the trick)

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