Great Leaders Say “Thank You”

There are a handful of expressions whose impact far exceed the effort to say them, and on the top of the list is, “Thank you.”

In rare win-win fashion, you feel good and you’ll likely make someone’s day or week.

Rules for giving feedback are pretty basic: immediate and specific. The same rules apply to saying, “Thank you.”

To make this as simple as possible, the following are a few ideas to get you started:

  • “Thank you for being on the team.” This says so much. Showing appreciation for being on the team, or, more specifically, appreciation for what he or she brings to the team. Let this important person know that what he or she does all day is not in vain. It matters!
  • “Thank you for responding.” People are really busy and often just flat-out don’t respond anymore. Don’t have pride, thank people for the basics that still matter.
  • Look for the good things your team members do and say in one of the most time-consuming workplace activities: meetings. For example, “Thank you for the comment you made in today’s meeting, it was key to moving forward on the issue.”
  • “Thank you, supervisor. I know you try hard to make our lives easier.” Being a boss can be a lonely place. Ironically, bosses frequently get less feedback than individual contributors, when they almost certainly need more.

If you’re a cheerful, thank-you person, trying doing this several times this week.

If you’re a serious, non-expressive person, trying doing this once this week.

Others would love to hear how it goes, so I invite you to come back and post comments.

Good luck, and thank you for reading this post!

  1. I used to work for GE and saying “thank you” was part of the leadership trainings. They even had special cards with “thank you” in silver to emphasize excellent accomplishments.

    I think it is an essential element of good (inclusive) leadership. It also engages your team, considering that it must be sincere.


    1. It’s so true, and it only hit me because someone actually thanked ME in a professional context, and I was so taken aback. It’s usually the simple stuff, isn’t it?? Thanks for commenting!


  2. I’m a huge believer that employee engagement is driven by a single factor – making them feel valued – and recognition is a good way to do just that. Thanks for the reminder Christine!


    1. Thanks, Kelly! Completely agree.


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