The Power Of Thank You In Your Career

Thanksgiving is sneaking up and articles focused on gratitude are in abundance…see what I did there? Abundance. Anyway,the web is filled with blog posts about being thankful, but I think this might be unique.

I recently experienced something that made think about the power of thank you in your career; and I thought your career may benefit by my experience.

I was standing in line at McDonalds waiting for a coffee. As I zoned out, I began listening to the chatter of the prep area and kitchen. I heard the words “thank you” nearly 20 times - in fairness I wasn’t counting, but that’s my guess.

Hash browns up, thank you. Small coffee, thank you. Egg McMuffin, thank you. I then started to watch the team. They were happy, upbeat and smiling at 7:00 am. They seemed to not only enjoy their work, but were efficient and speedy. As a customer, it was a great way to start my day.

As I drove to my office, I asked myself how often I say thank you. Does my team know I appreciate them? What about my best vendors and awesome clients? Do I say thank you enough? I don’t think so.

I certainly say thank you at work, but I don’t make it a habit. It isn’t that I am unthankful for the help and support of my team, it just sometimes goes unsaid, especially via email. After my experience at McDonald's, I realize I'm missing the boat by not thanking more people in my life on a more consistent basis.

Thank You Sends A Positive Message

Thank you is powerful. Thank you sets the tone for your engagement with other people. Thank you says, I'm acknowledging you. I recognize your efforts and appreciate it. Saying thank you is more than a common courtesy.

We communicate at such a fast rate through text, email and voicemail that we often come across as demanding, unconcerned and thoughtless. Simply adding thank you to your message takes away the sharp edges.

As much as thanking someone can make them feel appreciated, it can also soften a difficult message. Sometimes you need to have a difficult conversation with a business partner, your team or a vendor. If you begin by thanking the person for their efforts, before sharing with them why you're disappointed, it softens the message. Difficult conversations are made easier for both sides when thank you frames your message.

Thank You Makes A Team Gel

I believe one reason the team at McDonalds was so happy is because saying thank you, and being thanked in return, makes people happy. It's contagious!

Teams are less likely to blame, point fingers and melt down when they're actively engaged with giving consideration to the contribution someone else makes.

We live in such a “me centric” society, that it's easy to think we do it all alone. It is easy to get mad when a project goes south if you haven’t once considered the contribution of your team. But, when you're aware of all of the good your team does, you're less likely to unhinge when a mistake occurs. By focusing on thanking those around you, I'm convinced you'll be happier, your peers will be happier and you'll smile a little bit more!

So, as we head into a week of thankfulness, I'd like to thank my team, my vendors and our entire family of clients. You guys are the grooviest and I sincerely value you; thank you for supporting me! And in case you forget, continue to Be Amazing! - Jeanna

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About The Author

Recognized nationally as an industry leader in resume writing and career coaching, Jeanna McGinnis, CPRW is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe.com, a Board Member at A Players Executive Search Group Inc. and a recognized Coach for Forbes Coaches Council. Leveraging more than 16 years of experience directing hiring practices for multiple Fortune 100 companies, Jeanna and her team are refreshing how busy professionals brand, market and drive their careers. Please connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn or the ReResumeMe team on Twitter to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!