Modern Manners + Etiquette: Saying “Thank You”
Monday, March 28, 2011
In our daily lives we say “thank you” in three different ways: to gain a competitive edge in the working world, to get what we want from friends and family, and then we appreciate every and anyone who is helping us through our day: the stranger who holds open the door, the restaurant server, cashier, the cop who gave directions, the dry cleaner, the teacher who praised my child, the clerk who gave the correct change, the mechanic who changed the oil, the technician who cleaned your teeth or cut your hair, the neighbor who shoveled the sidewalk, and the Starbucks student who made us a latte.
Never underestimate the power of saying “thank you.”
Fast and affordable ways to show gratitude, as well as tips about timing and tactics.
Entertain socially and professionally to show you appreciate the friendship or business.
Be warm and personal—write thank-you notes, or thank-you emails.
Give compliments and pass something positive someone else said along to others.
Appreciate employees—to build staff loyalty and productivity.
Thank those who complained—if they took time to complain, they still want to do business or be your friend; so thank him/her for giving you the heads up so you can improve or self-correct.
Timing works—right away—thank within 48 hours.
Be creative by thanking with small gifts—a gift card, wine, chocolates, flowers, sports tickets, or even in some case, a stuffed animal.
A scant 10% of employees report they have supervisors who daily say “thank you for a job well done,” according to a recent nationwide Maritz poll. More than half of the employees said they were never thanked, seldom thanked, or only thanked once in a while.
Appreciate + Acknowledge
Whether you pay for an expensive greeting card and include a personal line of thanks; use impressive note stationery to express your gratitude in your own words; send flowers; or the more immediate email, just do it because saying a sincere thank you always works. Here are some expressions that say thank you:
I'm truly grateful.
I'm proud of you.
I applaud you.
I enjoy working with you.
I couldn't have done it without you.
I appreciate your work.
You are incredible.
You make my job so much easier.
You are a team player.
You are an important member of the team.
You are a great example for your brother/sister.
You are truly appreciated.
You are spectacular.
You are fun to be with/work with/travel with.
You made my day.
You make me look good.
You're a real trooper.
You're a treasure.
You're a joy to work with.
You're on target.
You're the best.
You're on top of things.
You're a winner.
Your contribution is important.
The time you put in really shows.
As long as it's sincere, a modicum of thanks can go a long way in a relationship, according to Dr. Sara Algoe's survey at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found thank-you's work on a signal-detection-response system that helps us “find, remind, and bind” to one another's wishes and desires. Why? Because in expressing gratitude a series of emotions are triggered that make that person feel more positive about him/herself, feel more connected to the relationship, and helps to build mutually-responsible patterns in the bond. Moreover, expressing gratitude keeps those involved together. For instance, the couples in the study who didn't show appreciation toward a partner were less likely to stay together.
Apparently, even small acts of random kindness and words of appreciation reflect the quality of all our relationships and thus strengthen them—which is why it is so important to be generous in remembering to say thank you.
Didi Lorillard discusses questions about relationships @ NewportManners.com in the hope of learning how to appreciate those around her more. You can follow her on Twitter, and Like her on Facebook and LinkedIn—after you've read her previous columns on www.golocalprov.com.
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