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Nov 7 2016

Why You Should Completely Flip the Way You Say Thanks


A couple of months ago, a Signature employee surprised a coworker with a “Congratulations!” card signed by the whole team.

The response was incredibly touching: “Thank you so much—this made my entire week.”

The Right Way to Say Thank You

Many may think this response was a gracious one; not only was it genuine, but it was very clear how much the gesture meant.

However, this is exactly the wrong way to thank someone.

A proper thank you, should be all about the other person.

For instance, if you’re thanking your friend for helping you move, you might be tempted to say:

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your help! You made the process so much quicker and easier.”

However, a much better version would be:

“I’m so grateful that you took time out of your day (not to mention spent a lot of elbow grease) to do this with me. That was really kind of you.”

As you can see, the second response focuses on your friend and their actions, not your own.

The Formula
Wondering how to transform your expressions of gratitude so they meet the mark? There’s a simple formula: focus on the other person’s actions, attitude, or emotions.

To give you an idea, check out these prompts:

? It was so fantastic of you to do [W], especially because …
? Thank you for saying [X]; I know that couldn’t have been easy because …
? I really appreciate that you took the time and energy to help with [Y] …
? Your ability to remain [cheery, kind, calm, etc.] in that situation was really impressive …
? Your aptitude for [Z] is inspiring …

With a little tweaking, these five lines will work in any situation. Imagine, for example, that your coworker volunteered to teach you something new. After she’d shown you what to do, you could say, “You’re an awesome teacher. Thank you for setting aside an hour to walk me through that—and so clearly, too!”

Replacing “Sorry” With “Thank You”
It’s also important to make sure we’re using “thank you” enough. As Chinese artist Yao Xiao points out, people frequently say “sorry,” when “thank you” would be much more appropriate.

Let’s say you’re five minutes late to a meeting. You could say, “I’m so sorry I’m late!”—or you could say, “Thank you for waiting.”

Or maybe you spend an hour getting coffee with a former colleague. You could say, “I’m so sorry for going on and on!”—or you could say, “Thank you for listening to me. I really appreciate your attention.”

Because apologizing feels inauthentic when it’s done all the time (not to mention being five minutes late is hardly a huge offense), replacing “sorry” with “thank you” can dramatically impact your communication.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

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