“Your package has shipped. Arriving …” It looked like the t-shirt I ordered for Hayden would arrive during Spring Break! But Spring Break came and went, and another week, and another week … the package never came. So I followed the steps outlined by Amazon and sent an email to the sender. But wait! Amazon replied that they are no longer working with that seller. I then clicked on more buttons trying to find out what happened to the shirt. And again, Amazon sent the same reply. Finally, I called Amazon’s customer service. After I explained my predicament, the young man commented, “Thank you so much for trying to follow the refund steps. I am so sorry that the steps didn’t work, but we appreciate your effort.” He then stated that HE would now take over the request and make sure that I received my refund. How often do we thank people for their “efforts” when things do NOT work out or go well? I think we are all pretty good at showing appreciation when things are successfully completed or when things go the way we think they should go. But when we don’t get our way, I’m pretty sure that we don’t then say “thank you” after all is said and done. But shouldn’t we? Hayden attended a small high school and was able (and encouraged) to play lots and lots of sports. He participated in cross-country running, golf, tennis, swimming, and soccer. Scott and I became soccer parents and quickly learned the rules of the game to cheer (and yell) appropriately. The action-packed games (I have no idea how those boys could run so much!) were super fun to watch, and we survived heat, cold, rain, and fog to watch Hayden play. Hayden’s first year on the team, they didn’t win very many games. But after every game, win or lose, the boys all crossed the field to high-five the other team. And during that exchange, you heard things like “Good game!” and “Good job!” from both the winners and the losers. After all the aggressive moves and penalties, after all the not-so-nice things said during the game, those boys approached each other with appreciation for the efforts put into that battle on the field. At the end of most sporting events, the players acknowledge each other in some way. They bow at the end of a martial arts event and shake hands over the net in tennis. We can all learn a useful communication strategy from this show of good sportsmanship. etc strategies believes that at the end of that meeting or after the email exchange, we should thank everyone for their efforts, even when we don’t “win”! Cross that field (figuratively) and high-five (again, figuratively) the other team. This show of sportsmanship can build more collaboration, strengthen relationships, and establish your reputation as a positive team player. So a big “thanks” goes to Andre at Amazon. You thanking me helped me share this communication strategy. And sorry Hayden -- the shirt is not arriving ever!