This is Thanksgiving week in the United States and a great time to talk about the power of a thank you. I noticed, when my wife Janet and I got married, that she always thanked me for everything I did for the household and the marriage. She even thanked me for the sorts of things you do just because they’re necessary such as taking out the trash or making the bed. Before Janet, it never occurred to me to say thank you for the ordinary, the mundane, and the routine. Those were just things you did because they need to be done. After living with Janet, I began to realize that that simple, two-word phrase had power beyond my expectation. When she thanked me for performing a simple task, it made me feel appreciated. In study after study about job satisfaction, feeling appreciated tops pay nearly every time. When you say thank you to a customer or a colleague, it makes them feel more socially valued and appreciated. People who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to help each other, they’re more likely to feel a sense of satisfaction, and they’re more likely to come to your defense when you need it.

A Thank You Exercise

Here’s an exercise for you that I learned from fellow speaker Tami Evans: Stop what you’re doing right now and send someone an email, a text, or a phone call to say thank you. Be specific about it. Don’t just say “Thank you for being you.”, although I’m sure they’d get a kick out of that. Say “Thank you for fixing dinner last night.” or “Thank you for doing the dishes this morning.” or “Thank you for making coffee this morning.” or “Thank you for your work on that project for our client.” or “Thank you for giving me this opportunity.” or “Thank you for catching that typo in my report yesterday.” You get the idea. Do this with your co-workers, your employees, your boss, your spouse, your kids, your neighbors, people you don’t like…do it with as many people as possible. Some of the people you thank will be delighted, some surprised, and some may be confused, all of them will feel valued and appreciated. Just for fun, post their responses in the comments.

When you thank people, they’re more inclined to help you again and to find ways they can contribute to the relationship, whether a workplace or personal relationship. They’ll feel valued and appreciated. You just might make their day with these two simple, yet powerful words.

Thank you for reading my posts and watching my videos. Even more than that, thank you for believing in the power of compassion, empathy, and respect and helping to spread the word.

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