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Powerful Politeness - Thanks for Everything

by Jon White June 24, 2015

​Two magic words - they mean so much but are so easy to say - “thank you”. So why aren’t they being used enough in business?

This phrase is often underestimated and at times sadly lacking in the business world. It’s important not to forget that politeness and the minding of one’s Ps and Qs is a must both in our day-to-day work life as well as any professional role we might find ourselves in.

And people are reaching the end of their tether…

It’s something that, unfortunately, we’ve seen over and over again - people leaving companies for the sole reason that they feel under-appreciated. And they have a point! Whether it’s that late night you pulled to get a slide deck out on time, or an unsolicited (and then unrecognised) cup of tea - if your work goes unnoticed, feelings of frustration might begin to make it tough to feel engaged and part of a team.

According to Myers Briggs and similar psychometric testing there’s an entire group of people that are almost wholly motivated by some thanks and appreciation. No matter the monetary perks thrown at them, if their work goes begging thanks, all the bonus and benefits in the world won’t help. So a simple show of appreciation can go a very long way!

The Campbell Promise

“Campbell valuing people; people valuing Campbell”

During his 10 years a CEO of Campbell Soups, Doug Conant wrote 20,000 thank you notes to his 30,000 staff. As a result of this simple thankful approach he not only turned around a then struggling business, he also made ‘thanks’ part of the Campbell ethos, which became known as the Campbell Promise.

The facts back it up...

Let’s have a look at the science behind this approach. According to Dr Robert A. Emmons, a leading researcher in the field, gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

Grateful people are happier and more likely to build and develop close friendships.

Gratitude also helps reduce stress, allows us to think more clearly under pressure and even heal physically

It’s actually physiologically impossible to be both stressed and thankful at the same time. When you’re grateful your body and brain are flooded with endorphins that uplift and energise you rather than stress hormones that do quite the opposite.

Keeping up a polite profile…

Needless to say when your job revolves around meeting and working with new people, politeness is incredibly important. Saying thank you to clients is perhaps one of the strongest and yet most under-used tools in any business developer’s arsenal. It helps build trust and a personal connection, the things that are perhaps hardest to form in the digital age. Obviously general politeness is expected, and more often than not adhered to, but actively using thanks as a method of connecting is rarely employed in the commercial world.

So next time someone in the office helps you out, or goes above and beyond in their day-to-day, stop and proactively take the time to say thank you. Not only will you empower them but you’ll also do yourself the world of good!

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