The Power of Thank You

Say "Please and thank you." It's one of the first lessons we learn as children. Usually eager to please, we do as we're told. Then the surly teen years hit and all bets are off.

Most of us do come back to some semblance of civility. (Granted, some more than others.) As we grow into adulthood the amount of appreciation we express, and our ability to sincerely say "Thank you" has a dramatic impact on how we relate to others.

Gratitude in the Workplace

Researchers Adam M. Grant and Francesco Gino studied the impact of a sincere 'Thank You' in the workplace. Their findings show a 50 percent increase in the amount of additional help being offered as a result of the appreciation. Folks, that's HUGE.

In a related experiment by the same researchers, the Director of an organization personally thanked half the staff for their contribution to the company. The result? A 50% increase in sales calls the following week from the half who had been shown gratitude. Talk about impacting the bottom line at zero net cost.

Want a more eager team? Try saying Thank You more often.

At this point you're probably thinking the same thing I am -- "Duh, doesn't take a group of rocket scientists to figure that one out". Seems pretty obvious, right? Yet, how many work places can you think of that actively embrace and use this philosophy?

Happy Wife, Happy Life
The University of Georgia recently conducted a survey on the subject of marital happiness. This statement was included in their findings:

"We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last."

Now I'm not sure about you, but if I were married, I'd certainly expect my spouse to appreciate me. It's kind of a base line expectation. I think we all feel that way.

Yet how many marriages can you think of where appreciation and respect for each other is nonexistent? It's sad when you think about it.

You've Got It, Now Flaunt It
We all have this very powerful tool, the words "Thank You". They have the ability to motivate, create good will, make peace, and solidify love and commitment.

And yet, most of us are simply not using this very potent little two word device effectively. Which is nuts. It's free, it's easy and it feels good. And no one needs birth control.

Lots of things happen when we sincerely thank someone. First, the obvious, you feel good about yourself for having manners and being polite. But it goes much, much deeper than that for both of you:

The Thanker
  • Produces positive emotional state
  • Increases sense of well being
  • Triggers 'feel good' hormones
  • Re-enforces virtuous cycle in your brain
The Thankee
  • Feels higher levels of self worth
  • Triggers greater desire to help Thanker
  • Triggers helpful behaviors toward others
  • Appreciate being needed
  • Feel more socially valued

Thank Bombing
The benefits of throwing around Thank You's are enormous. And we have so many opportunities every day. How many people can you think of you can thank that you may have overlooked in the past? Who can you think of that you can thank again with more passion? Who will you always remember to thank in the future?

Let's start a Thank Bombing trend. We'll all just start thanking the hell out of everybody! Who ever does a good deed, helps us in anyway, who we see helping someone else, whatever! Get those hormones racing, self esteems rising, moods elevating -- it'll be an all out party! Are you with me?? Good! Let the ThankFest begin.

Kimberly Montgomery is the creator of the Choices Notebook and blogger at Fifty, where she encourages people to use their powers for good. Hop on over there to grab some free tools to help you easily add more Gratitude and Thank You's into your life.