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How to make someone's day in under 5 min

Thamara Andrade
Software Engineer and superhero wannabe.She/Her
Originally published at thamara.dev Updated on ・2 min read

Over the weekend, I got an email notification from someone I didn't know. The subject read, "Thank you for your GitHub post!". I got curious. This person was thanking me for one issue I fixed in my own Open Source App a few months ago in the email. That has allowed this guy to understand and resolve an issue that was blocking him for 2 weeks. This has made my day. It was amazing to know that something I was doing for my own purposes had a positive effect on someone else's life.

This person probably spent less than 5 minutes writing the email, and as a side effect, caused me to be happy a whole day.

Some days ago, I sent a thank you message to someone involved in the organization of the scholarships for the CppCon (I talked more about this in this post). Just by hitting send, I felt good because I was acknowledging the effort someone (actually a lot of people) put into doing something unique that had a significant impact on me. In the reply, the person thanked me for taking the time to send it, which only made me even happier. In this email, this person also shared that often they don't hear back from people, so my message was extra-appreciated.

On a personal project with a few friends, we help women build stronger resumes by giving feedback on their current CV. When we send the feedback, we also send a link for a survey on their expectations and what we could do better. As for today, we have already reviewed around 115 resumes; from those, only 25% have filled the survey. Often, those who respond are grateful for the work we've been doing. On some occasions, they even follow up thanking us for helping them be more confident and get a new work position. When this happens, it shows us we are on the right path, which makes our work totally worth it.

If complimenting makes us feel better and makes the day of someone else, why don't we do it more often?

I invite you to try to enforce it on your day today. Identify the people and the occasions, and give genuinely complements. It should take you less than 5 minutes and has the great potential of making the person's day.

Remember, there's no size for the impact; maybe someone wrote a tweet that had a considerable effect on the way you work and live, or perhaps someone spent a lot of effort in preparing a presentation or event that you attended, and, even if the person was only "doing their job", take a few minutes and acknowledge the excellent work and make this person's day by complimenting them.

Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

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