Gratitude- 5 Steps To A Sincere “Thank You”

Gratitude can improve your business—and add much, much more to your life.

The simple act of saying “Thank you” typically conveys a sense of gratitude. But it has to be genuine to be truly effective. And a dynamic “Thank you” is much more effective than a static one. So when you use the phrase, mean it, and perhaps even add a smile to it.

It’s easy to say “Thank you,’ a two-word phrase that takes less than a second to utter. In fact, it’s so easy to say that we sometimes use it out without giving it much thought. Yet giving it thought is precisely what we should be doing.

“Thank You” as a Personal and Functional Tool

We often use a “Thank you” as a polite method of accepting or rejecting something that’s been offered to us. We say, “Thank you for passing the pumpkin pie” or, when offered a second piece, “Thank you, but I’m full.” We say “Thank you” as a way of signaling the end of a conversation, as in “Thank you” followed by a “You’re welcome,” indicating the completion of a transaction.

Saying “Thank you” can be a very useful tool in social-relationship building. It can create an opportunity to acknowledge the actions of others, display your professionalism and demonstrate your social and emotional intelligence. Not all cultures say “Thank you,” but most have some way of acknowledging the actions of another person, perhaps with a wave or a nod of the head.

If you look up the definition for “Thank you,” you’ll find frequent references to the concept of gratitude, as in “A polite expression of one’s gratitude” or “A conversational expression of gratitude.” The definition of the word “gratitude” includes “The state of being grateful” and “A quality of being thankful.” “Gratitude” and “Thank you” often go hand in hand, but how often do we say “Thank you” and hear and feel gratitude?

Saying “Thank You” Is Good for Your Bottom Line

What do you think about a person or a business who appreciated your efforts or patronage? Research demonstrates that saying “Thank you” or having a  “Thank you” on the bottom of a receipt, on the exit door, or at the end of a transaction can have a positive impact on customer relationships. We may not always notice when it’s there, but we often notice when it’s not. Of course, if the “Thank you” contradicts actions, the message will have less weight. But when it reinforces appreciation, it takes on additional meaning.

Over time, the familiarity of a static “Thank you” message may lose it’s impact, but a dynamic one that is sincere, appropriate, relevant and noticeable will not.

When “Thank You” Means More

What is a “Thank you” really? Is it just a polite conversational expression, an acknowledgement of an action or a way to end a conversation? While it can be all of those, it can also represent much more.

At its best, a “Thank you” is a way of acknowledging a person – not the actions of the person, not the social convention associated with the situation, but of a person. In a split second, we can let the other person know we appreciate and acknowledge his or her presence. We can let someone know that we see him or her as a fellow person sharing time and perhaps a place with us. This is where a simple “Thank you” can turn into something more.

Next page: 5 Small Steps To a Sincere “Thank You”

Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking".

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