The 2 Most Powerful Words in Business

“Thank You”

It’s something we say countless times in a day to people we hardly know. To the Starbucks cashier & Barista; to cab drivers; to servers at restaurants; to friends, loved ones, and so many others. But how often do we say them to people we work with or manage? The answer is: not often enough.

In business, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure of a fast paced environment and forget how powerful these two simple words are. It’s understandable because everyone is so busy trying to meet deadlines, hit targets, crush goals, get to inbox zero, manage up, manage down, prioritize projects, politic internally, and so on and so forth. But just as important as all those things is the ability to capitalize on opportunities to thank people for keeping up with it all. For working their asses off. For going above and beyond their “pay grade” in the interest of advancing the common goal. For coming in early and staying late. For not passing the buck to someone else when they easily could do so without anyone really noticing. For hustling, not because they have to, but because they want to.

A simple “thank you” goes such a long way because personal motivation is about more than just bonuses, raises, increased responsibility or titles. As great as those things are, at the end of the day people really just want to know that the work they are doing isn’t going unnoticed. That it’s appreciated and recognized.

So next time you’re in a room with someone who you think does a good job every day, take that 5 seconds to tell them. Many of us feel awkward or uncomfortable doing so, but the positive impact that those two little words have far outweighs the discomfort of doing so, and it will garner respect from superiors, peers, and direct reports alike. And that pays dividends.

Thank you for reading this. Pay it forward…

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