People ultimately choose to do business with people they like, and everyone likes someone who appreciates them.
I once read a quote by the ever so brilliant writer known as Anonymous. It states, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” The most powerful tool you have in creating success in your life is to appreciate other people. When you appreciate others you will find that your relationships are stronger, your circle of friends will grow wider, your career and business will succeed beyond your expectations, and your life will simply be happier. So who wouldn’t want all of that?! And how do we make that happen?
The two most powerful words in any language are “Thank you.” Saying thank you communicates that you value and appreciate the other person. Saying thank you has the power to completely change the other person’s mood for the better. Saying thank you has the power to create friendships. Saying thank you has the influence to create loyalty. Saying thank you to everyone you come in contact with would make you one of the most beloved people in the world. Forgetting to say thank you leaves the other person feeling taken for granted and unappreciated, and one can easily surmise the damage those feelings would do toward building future bonds.
Now that we all agree on the importance of saying “thank you”, let’s talk about a few tips on how to say it best.
When saying thank you, it is best to be specific about exactly what you are thankful for. When you take time to do so you are helping that employee feel appreciated, but at the same time you are also teaching them the behaviors they should repeat in order to receive further thanks in the future. For example, a manager might say to an employee who did a good job on their given assignment, “Thank you for the attention you paid to the smallest details on this project. I realize you put in extra hours to get this completed so smoothly and I truly appreciate your efforts.” That employee will walk away feeling appreciated as well as knowing that paying attention to detail and going the extra mile are behavior patterns they want to continue to follow in order to receive future praise.
Saying thank you to someone out of the blue in an unexpected moment can make a huge impact on someone else. For example, when the person has done nothing for you in that moment just stop and say thank you to them for something they exemplify, such as, “Thank you for always setting an example of integrity with your life.” Those unexpected thank yous can create a lasting impression on the other person.
One of the most powerful forms of appreciation is when you take the time to say “Thank you” to someone in a handwritten note. In all my years as a CEO I found time and time again that the most valued gift I could give someone was a handwritten note of thanks, and the only items I have saved without fail over the years are the handwritten notes of thanks that employees and clients sent to me. There is something so deeply personal and meaningful in a handwritten note of appreciation. At my past company we had thousands of thank you cards with the company logo printed for the employees to be able to write and mail handwritten thank you cards out to our clients, our vendors, and each other. The value created over the years from these simple handwritten notes didn’t equal millions of dollars in value, they created hundreds of millions of dollars because they helped us to grow our company to levels beyond expectations because of the close personal bonds with our clients and service providers.
We all have hundreds of opportunities to say thank you every day. We can thank the gal behind the counter at the gas station who rings us up when we grab our morning diet soda. We can thank the person in the drive-through who hands us our lunch order. We can thank the person who holds the door open for us when we walk in the building. If you pay attention for even one day to everyone who could possibly deserve to hear a “thank you” you will be amazed at the number of opportunities that could be missed in a day if we don’t pay attention to them. There is never a downside to saying thank you to someone. It can only make your own life and the lives of those around you better.
Author: Amy Reese Anderson | Founder and Managing Partner of REES Capital