Two Small Words Change Everything
Use them more and make things easier for yourself
It’s such a small thing to say: ‘thank you’. These two small words cost absolutely nothing and yet make a huge difference to if and how people remember you and respond to you. Thanking people is often the difference that makes the difference as to whether people do what you want, get back to you, take on your opinion and it certainly affects the actual way they do what you ask them to.
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.
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 for us but around us, you’ll discover loads more opportunities to say ‘thank you’.
- ‘Thank you for your help’
- ‘Thank you for thinking of me’
- ‘Thank you for letting me know’
- ‘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 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.” If you 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.
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’ ie why should I say ‘thank you?’ or tell me ‘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.’
There you go, it’s that simple and easy.
Known as the Savvy & Influential Communication Expert, our Life Labs contributor, Kay White, is hosting a unique 3-day Live Event “Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard LIVE” in London on 6, 7 and 8 October and as a guest of Psychologies, use the code GLITTERBALL and take 50% off your seat.
Let’s make it your time to shine at work without selling your soul. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards all while being true to yourself?
For further immediate ‘shots’ of inspiration and tactics on showing up at work in a way which gets you heard and understood, try Kay’s Weekly Podcast on iTunes:Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard . They’re short and snappy and full of tips to inspire and guide you at work.