The Power Of Saying "Thank You"
The Power Of Saying "Thank You" Gracias. Danke. Merci.
Simple words with the power to bind, to build, and to behold. If you've ever gotten thanked or given thanks, then you know its power. Just the fact that you say it can be enough to make a difference, just as not saying it can make a difference in a negative way.
"Thank you" isn't just something that comes with "have a nice day" as you grab your paper or plastic. It's a sincere sign that something nice has occurred. It's not just an acknowledgement that you've been positively affected by something but a chance
to return positive emotions back to the giver.
How can we tap into this powerful force?
Be timely. Timing is perhaps the most crucial element of thanking someone. Waiting too long or forgetting altogether makes people wonder if you got that gift, if they did a good job, or if you really care. No hard and fast rule for what is a reasonable time in which to thank someone can be given, so "the sooner, the better" is always a good rule of thumb.
Be appropriate. Sometimes, just a simple "thank you" will suffice. Most times, though, a more formal card (handwritten) will mean more than any gift. Of course, there are times when physical tokens of appreciation fit the bill, but be careful about going overboard as that makes one look like he's either trying to be impressive or is buttering 'em up for next time. Also, that sets up expectations of bigger and better for the next time, which is hard to keep up and really not what thanks are all about.
Be receptive. Some people crave public attention. An announcement during an award ceremony or a toast during a special event might be just the thing to feed the ego as well as the spirit. For the shy crowd, that card and token are better. Giving thanks in the way that a person enjoys means that we care even more about him.
Be personal. A thank you is even more powerful if some thought went into it. A book on a hobby he loves, a picture of his favorite place, or anything that is uniquely him says alot.
Be sincere. All the other elements are a part of our sincerity, but only a part. There's a knowingness that comes with a heartfelt thank you. Sometimes, it's obvious; other times, it's just a gut feeling, but something just rings true to the receiver. That's when thanks really hit home.
Expect nothing in return. For a thank you to go deep into the soul of another it must be cast out without expectations without conditions, without any strings attached whatsoever. Some people have gotten out of sorts because their thank you wasn't thanked. They're missing the point: it's all about the giving. What If I Forgot?
What if, after reading this, you think, "Oops, I forgot to thank so-and-so." Now what? The fix is fairly simple: start with "I am really sorry," then go to step one above. Guru-cize It!
The following is an exercise for you to try at home, at work, or anywhere! Who should you thank? Someone who did something nice for you. Someone you rely on. Someone you love. Someone who needs to feel appreciated.
Everyone else. What to do when someone thanks you: Open up and let it in. Say, "You're welcome."