Has the art of the “thank you” become extinct? Has it become a casualty in our insanely over-connected, rushed and reactive world we live in? I fear so, and I hope that we can save the “thank you” from extinction! As a keynote speaker I am often asked to do a presentation “pro-bono” and when I can and it makes sense I do. Like many people I know who, I believe in giving back where I can. Recently, I agreed to deliver a virtual presentation that required me to do so at a late hour as it was being delivered in a time zone 14 hours ahead of me. I was asked and I was happy to do it. I was promised all of the usual stuff when someone asks….”plenty of exposure, marketing support” and so on. When I hear this, I tend to keep the bar very low and go into it knowing that it is up to me to make something happen.
After I delivered that presentation I think I had the right to hope for at least a simple “thank you”. I expected that I would get an email or perhaps a card letting me know that my time and effort expended is at some level appreciated. A testimonial right here on Linkedin would have been wonderful. Perhaps even a (gasp) phone call? Anything to say “thank you” for helping make their event successful. Is that asking too much? I didn’t think so…do you?
What has happened here? Have we become so busy and reactive that we can’t take the time to express in a meaningful and thoughtful manner a sincere “thank you”? In all cases when I donate my time, I do it of my own free will and without expectation of material gain. Its marketing and business development for sure – and that does not obviate the basic human requirement to say “thank you”. Do you know what those two little words mean to people? Everything. Do I hold people to a higher standard to do the right thing? You’re darn right I do. So should you. Saying ‘ thank you” is mandatory. Those two little words said with sincerity and presence will make a big difference in your success.
I had a client once say to me “you’re getting your speaking fee, what more do you want”? I was taken aback by this a and thought “how sad that you have lost your way…” Those two words make me way to do more and give more. They let me know that my contribution and time mattered. That is why I do what I do.
Do those two little words mean everything? They do. The intent and power of the “thank you” screams volumes about you and the organization you represent.
Do you owe anyone a “thank you”? Pick up the phone (NOW) and establish this lost art. One last thing…if I ever forget my own advice then I expect to be held accountable. And, if you are someone who gets this and says “thank you”, then thank you. It’s the easiest and simplest way to ensure that you are top of mind.