3 Ways to Say Thank You

(First posted October, 2017)

When was the last time you said, ‘thank you’ unexpectedly to someone on your team?

This past weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving – a wonderful time to spend with family, eat way too much and give thanks.   This weekend always gets me thinking about our professional lives and the art and science of saying ‘thank you’.

I am talking about the unexpected “thank you” and not the obligatory thank you. The latter is required for politeness and professionalism. The former is good relationship management.

I try to make a point of saying thank you to people in my professional life, unexpectedly, as often as I can.

Here are three ways that work for me.

  1. An impromptu lunch. Not too fancy and certainly not expensive. Maybe just a sandwich at the local deli, but a time for you and someone on your team to talk. The way this really works though, is to spend that hour or so talking about everything other than work. Get to know them, dig into their pastimes and hobbies and find out a little bit about the family. This kind of impromptu chat can be so appreciated by people at work.  The final 10 minutes is the ‘thank you’ – a sincere expression of gratefulness for the part they play on your team.
  1. Write a letter. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that this is an ongoing theme of mine. Get your letterhead with your name on it – it is not that expensive. Handwrite a sincere expression of appreciation and stick it in the mail or drop it on their desk. In this case, without the lunch, you might even consider a gift card from the local liquor store or coffee shop or even bookstore. I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, that person has never received a letter of appreciation from anyone professional in their life.
  1. Create a monthly or quarterly award program for you to recognize one or even a few people for their effort and hard work. Forget the plaque and the picture on the wall. Give them a card with the gift card inside and hold them up in front of everyone for a genuine thank you.

A couple of words of warning. Don’t do any of this too often as it will seem as ingenuine.  And on that awards program, if you started it and don’t repeat it as promised, you will lose face and credibility very quickly. I’ve seen this happen way too often, so don’t do it. 

Note that my ways of saying ‘thank you’ do not include email, texting or any other electronic format.

So, who deserves a thank you from you this week?


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Posts

Our Relationships Deserve a Strategic Plan

The people in our lives can make or break our happiness and our success. Without strong healthy and enjoyable relationships, both personal and professional, we are at risk of being

Scalability and Common Sense

Have you ever watched someone use a canon to kill a fly?  Use a software program to solve a problem that really just needed a pen and piece of paper? 

Who is Your Coach?

Connor McDavid has a coach and he’s arguably the best hockey player in the world. Kevin Durant has a coach. Most great artists have coaches. And many people in business

I Only Read the First Three Sentences!

We all read a lot of very long documents: proposals, reports, stories and more.  Or at least we are asked to read them.  The truth is, we don’t really read

Subscribe to my blog

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top