Two Small Words Change Everything

It’s such a small thing to say ‘thank you’. It costs you absolutely nothing and yet it makes a huge difference to how you are understood and remembered by people. It’s often the difference that makes the difference as to whether people do what you want, it certainly affects the way they do what you ask them to and, crucially, how they respond to you – and – if they respond to you at all.

Most people – if they’re lucky, in my opinion are taught- from when they were a small child that ‘thank you’ is what you say as soon as you’re given something or when someone does something for you – in my case my parents used to take something back from me until I said ‘thank you’ – so it was pretty simple.

To be remembered and recognised in a way that works for us, we need to make people feel appreciated. Well an easy, effective and natural way to make people feel you appreciate them is simply to say ‘thank you’ to them more.

Once you start to look for how and where you can be more grateful, more appreciative of what people do and are doing, not just for you but around you, you’ll discover loads more opportunities to say ‘thank you’. ‘Thank you for your help’, ‘thanks for telling me that’, ‘thank you for letting me know’, ‘thank you for just being around’, ‘thank you for thinking of me’.

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.”. Thank you first. It means that the first thing you say isn’t negative and crucially, it buys you time to decide what you do want to say.

The two words – thank you – are 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 that you don’t want or don’t want to do is a really key piece in learning how to say ‘no’ without upsetting people. If you say ‘thanks for asking me and not today’ or ‘thanks for the offer’ before you say ‘no’, you’ve already started to help the other person accept your refusal without feeling rejected.

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

By the way, I’m suggesting that you say thank you more – not that you don’t say it already. Start to think about being grateful more and, when you do, instead of just that noticing it, saying it more. Easy.

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, simple and easy. Thank you.

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Article reproduced with permission of Kay White, Communication Specialist and Mentor at Kay shows professionals how to be understood. Get quicker, faster and better results by becoming a more effective, influential and savvy communicator – everywhere in your life.

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!