The power of saying “Thank you” (Tom Peters)

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When so much around us is changing so fast, it becomes more important than ever to keep up our morale, be clear about what matters, build strong relationships with the people on our team, and be able to spot the opportunities in any situation.

One very power and ridiculously easy way of doing all these things is to get into the habit of saying “Thank you.”

In this short video Tom Peters explains why, after more than 30 years as a leading management guru, saying “Thank you” is still his “number one top tip” for getting things done.

“It gets you further — and it also makes you a better human being.”

Tom explains how the great American psychologist William James told us that the deepest human need is the need to be appreciated. When we say “Thank you” we are giving people that appreciation.

And in a time of change, saying “Thank you” also brings us three more valuable benefits:

  • It reminds us of what is important, what is worth being grateful for
  • It reminds us of what is going well, even if not everything is
  • It builds stronger relationships

All of which means that when the next issue arises we start from a place of:

  • Greater clarity about what matters
  • Stronger morale and motivation
  • Stronger relationships with the people who can help us achieve what needs to be done

Perhaps most important of all, saying “Thank you” also gets us into the habit of spotting the positives, the opportunities, in any situation.

In a time of massive change, all these are a foundation worth building: a foundation from which we can become antifragile, able to use change to become stronger and more valuable.

When was the last time you said “Thank you” — either to someone else or to yourself? What would happen if you started to say “Thank you” more often? Thank you.

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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