Thank you


Every day, we’re presented with opportunities to say thank you.

To the new client who chooses you instead of any other lawyer, the existing client who sends you a referral, your assistant for covering for you when you’re late, the stranger who opens the door open for you.

And we usually say it.

We say it so often we don’t always realize we’re saying it.

We’re being polite. Saying what we were raised to say when someone does something for you. And in terms of civility, that’s good. But for the important people in our life, we can do better.

A recent study found that when it comes to showing gratitude, quantity doesn’t matter as much as quality.

So, what can we do to show people we truly appreciate what they’ve done? We’re not just being polite, we mean it?

The best way to show someone you mean it is to mean it. To feel it inside you and to share that feeling with them. Not just with your words, but with your tone of voice, your eyes, your complete attention to them.

When you are sincerely grateful, they know.

When you send a thank you note or letter, you can show them you mean it by personalizing the letter. Use their name, mention what they’ve done, and tell them why it means something to you.

You can also show people you appreciate them by showing them you’re thinking about them. Sending articles or links to videos you’ve found, about subjects you think will interest them, is a simple way to do that.

Remembering things about them—where they went to school, the names of their kids, the breed of their dog— shows people you care about them as a person, not just someone who helps pay your mortgage.

If you want someone to know you appreciate them, do what fiction writers do: “Show, don’t (just) tell.”