The Wave

A bit off topic from leadership, but not really…


You know “the wave?” Not the one done by face-painted middle-aged men at a Packers game. I’m talking about “the wave” that someone gives you from the car or the street after you’ve made a small gesture. Like…

“Thanks giving me that parking space.”

“Thanks for letting me back out of here.”

“Thanks for telling me my lights weren’t on.”

“Thanks for moving aside.”

So simple. Takes no time. Zero cost.

I do it all the time. I’m a firm believer in the wave. In between all my singing in the car (see this post for further explanation), I’m usually waving “thanks” for someone’s gesture. And I love receiving it.

So why doesn’t everyone do it?

And, why, when someone doesn’t, do I literally feel a small rage inside of me? Almost like the lack of “the wave” is akin to flipping me the bird.

Are we really that tired or busy to wave a little?

Maybe it’s because I really like the small human connection that happens with the wave. For that small moment, there was an exchange of kindness with someone just for the pure purpose of exchanging kindness. I don’t like being robbed of that.

Again, simple, no time, free.

We each have a choice with every exchange we have with another human to say thanks even in the smallest ways. Are you living your everyday moments with others with a smile and a wave? It could be the one small gesture in a tough day that gives someone levity and peace.

And that someone could be a peer, a boss, a direct report. Maybe it’s your spouse who covered you all week for evening events (thanks Steve) or your kids who finally brushed their teeth without asking.

Small thanks and waves add up. So start the adding!  What is your favorite way to give a small thanks?  Any other things you do besides the wave?


One Comment on “The Wave”

  1. You are a midwesterner at heart. I love that about you!

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