Remember the times your parents reminded you to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you?’ In retrospect, that was an important lesson in manners and an invaluable lesson on life. Every favor, gift, compliment, or award, is essentially, a “favor,” “gift,” ”compliment,” or “award,” not something you deserve. However, many people seem to have forgotten this. Think of the times you felt angry when your hard work did not materialize and thought to yourself, “ I should have been compensated or my hard work should have paid off.” Think of the other times when you felt depressed when things did not work out and said to yourself, “I should have done things differently, or I should have seen it coming.” Where is the golden rule that your efforts should be compensated, or that you should have a crystal ball to predict the future? Believing that you deserve anything only leads to bad manners, an illusion of control, and a sense of entitlement.
When I was young, my mom used to always say this to me before I visited a friend’s house, “Don’t forget to say thank you.” It was ingrained into our heads as kids and yet as adults we forget this most basic lesson, especially when it comes to business.
We all like to be thanked when we do something for someone else; it makes us feel good and appreciated. Saying ‘thank you’ and acknowledging the people around you is not only the nice and polite thing to do, but also smart for business and your career. Everyone appreciates being appreciated and it is only a small gesture.
I have to agree with Peter Bregman that it is important to answer back all your e-mails and messages. The person on the other end is waiting for a reply; the least you can do is acknowledge that you received it.
In this busy world today people need reminder to say ‘thank you.’ It only takes up to five seconds to respond to an email when all you are saying is “thank you.” Not only does it show the sender that you appreciate the kind words, its shows them you respect them enough to respond.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference.