Two small words that cost nothing but pay dividends

It’s such a small thing to say ‘thank you’ and these two small words cost you absolutely nothing and yet make a huge difference to if and how people remember you and respond to you.

Thank no matter the medium

Thanking people is often the difference between whether people do what you want, get back to you, and take on your opinion. It certainly affects the actual way they do what you ask them to. That applies whether you’re emailing a contact or client, or talking to them face-to-face, even on the likes of Skype!

Most of us are taught to say ‘thank you’ as children. As soon as we’re given something or when someone does something for us – in my case my parents used to take something back from me until I said ‘thank you’ – so it was pretty simple.So why don’t we do it more?

To be noticed and remembered for the right reasons, we need to make people feel appreciated.Well an easy, effective and natural way to make people feel you appreciate them is simply to look for ways to say ‘thank you’ to them and to say it more. A straight ‘thanks’ will do equally well if you’re worried about repetition!

Those around you too

Once we start to look for how and where we can be more grateful, more appreciative of what people do and are doing, not just forus but aroundus, you’ll discover loads more opportunities to say ‘thank you’.

‘Thank you for your help’

‘Thank you for letting me know’

‘Thank you for thinking of me’

‘Thanks in advance for doing that by Friday’

Telling people you know they’ll do something and thanking them before they’ve done it, that’s where commitment and consistency, those powerful influencers, live.

Thank upfront when you don’t like it

‘Thank you’ also helps even if you don’t like what you’re being told.Try saying “ah, thanks for letting me know” or “hmm, thanks for telling me that, now what about etc.” Ifyou say‘thank you’ first, it means that the first thing you say isn’t negative and crucially, it buys you some precious time to decide what you do want to say.

Defined in the dictionary as ‘a polite expression used when acknowledging a gift, service or compliment or when accepting or refusing an offer’, saying ‘thank you’ for something you don’t want or don’t want to do is a really key piece in learning how to say ‘no’ without upsetting people.

Thanking is infectious

There’s a great knock-on effect from saying ‘Thank You’ more of course. It makes you feel better too. It’s that whole ‘attitude of gratitude’ and it works. Simple.

So many people mutter to themselves ‘well, they’re just doing their job’ i.e. why should I say ‘thank you?’ Or, as I often hear, ‘I was so pleased with how they did that’ and yet when I ask the person ‘did you tell them you’re pleased?,’ they invariably say the person was either doing what they were supposed to, or they just assumed the person knew they were pleased.

A client told me recently that, as a service provider, when a customer phones her and says ‘thank you’ after she’s sorted things out for them, they immediately get better service from her next time they need her help.

As she then said, ‘Everyone likes to be appreciated; we’ve all got a lot going on!’ And as William Arthur Ward, the famous American poet said, ‘Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.’

Article reproduced with permission of Kay White, a communication and mentoring expert at Way Forward Solutions. Kay shows experienced - and often frustrated - professionals how to be heard and understood. Her free eBook Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard has already been downloaded over 4,000 times.


16th May 2012

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