Add thought to your thanks

When was the last time you thanked someone? Not by offering just a casual “Thanks” but by using well-chosen words and gestures to show your true appreciation? If it has been more than a week, that’s too long.

Thanking employees, co-workers, vendors and customers is a powerful way to strengthen connections, if you do it correctly. Polish your manners with these tips:

  • Make it personal. Use people’s names when you thank them. Everyone likes to be remembered, and front-line workers and customers are particularly impressed when an executive calls them by name.
  • Make it specific. Take time to detail what the person did and why you appreciate it. Example: “Christy, I noticed that you worked past
    6 p.m. last night to rush that shipment to an important customer. Dedication like that gives our customers confidence in us and keeps them coming back.”
  • Make it memorable. Don’t shoot off an e-mail or say “Great work” when you pass the person in the hallway. Visit the person’s workstation and sit down. Or write a handwritten note, even if it is only a few lines. People delete e-mail but will often save a handwritten note.

Following those tips when you say “Thank you” takes less than five minutes, yet they will make people eager to please you in the future.

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