The dangers of saying thank you
You see it all the time on awards show. Actors and directors win an Oscar or an Emmy and when they give their acceptance speeches, they wrack their brains trying to remember everyone to thank. Hilary Swank became the butt of lots of jokes in 2000 when she forgot the thank her hubby Chad Lowe when she won for "Boys Don't Cry".
Most of us don't have to worry about Golden Globe Awards or Oscars, but plenty of us work on cross-departmental teams at work or with groups of people on special projects. When the work goes well, it's important to thank those who made it happen. But, how do you make sure you don't pull a Hilary Swank?
First and foremost, keep a running list of everyone you work with. Need someone to compile some important data for you? When they deliver, add them to the list and note what they did. Have to bring in someone to help you with code or design? When they submit their deliverables, add them to your list. In short, when someone gives you the materials, assistance, or guidance you need, add them and make note of their contribution. But, only when they they give you what you need (and not just when you ask).
When your project is complete and it's time to acknowledge the people who made it happen, go back to your list. It's easier to omit people that you listed than it is to try to remember the many people who helped you over the weeks, months, or sometimes years that it took to reach your goal.
Omitting someone from a thank you email, speech, or other form of acknowledgment is downright embarrassing. It makes you look bad and hurts the feelings of the person (or people) that you forgot. Don't let it happen to you.
Sure, thanking people can be dangerous. However, if you're diligent in noting contributors and contributions as you go, you can make yourself a thank you pro!