Why Leaders are like Toddlers and Need Reminding to say Thank You.

"What do you say?..."


I have probably said that a thousand times to my three daughters. Sometimes they need reminding as they are so excited by their new present, already tucking into their delicious dinner or already thinking about their next adventure and forget to say thanks.

Many leaders are the same. Your team just delivered a new product, your software genius just fixed a complex bug or your executive assistant just performed a juggling spectacular to get you to see all the critical people before the weekend arrived.  How in those scenarios do you stop and express your gratitude in a sincere way?

Maybe saying thank you comes naturally to you. If not, here are three tips that may help:

  • Reflect on the last seven days. What are you most grateful for and did you express your gratitude at the time? If not, find time for some catch-up thank you giving.
  • Build in gratitude reflection time. It maybe the start, middle or end of your day but schedule in ten minutes of reflection and ask yourself who you need to acknowledge and thank.
  • Say it like you mean it My mum always used to tell me "It's not what you say it's the way that you say it!". She is right, think about your intent and get the right message across. Email thank yous are fine once in a while, but how about a quick phone message, a hand written card or another uniquely tailored gesture?

Eight years ago in my corporate life, one of my managers wrote me a hand written note of appreciation. I still have it in my office, (I added the photo to this post). He was a man of few words and didn't express gratitude often, so it meant a lot to me. How can you have the same impact on the people in your life?

As I celebrate my tenth year as a Brit in the US, I wish all my US colleagues a Happy Thanksgiving, and encourage you all across the world to remember to say thank you more!

I would like to thank you all for reading and sharing my articles.

Val Wright