Two Words. Eight Letters.

by David Heitman

Funny how new research so frequently validates what we already know. A new study suggests that two of the most powerful words in human relationships are “thank you.”

Not a shocker, but a good reminder.

It’s about not taking others for granted. Relationships with friends, families, co-workers and clients improve proportionally with the expression of sincere gratitude.

Most people, from front-line workers to the leaders of an organization, feel some lack of appreciation. In fact, it’s amazing to see how many CEOs go about feeling unappreciated. (It really is lonely at the top.) They are thrilled when the occasional expression of gratitude from an employee reaches their desk or their inbox—even to the point of keeping a thank-you note tucked away for months or years in a desk drawer.


If you think about it, there are probably five or 10 opportunities a day to say thanks to someone for something. And because gratitude is a skill that can be cultivated, simply doing it makes you better at it.

When it comes to customer relationships, there is no limit to the ways you can say “thank you.” And no, the laser printed birthday card you get from your insurance agent doesn’t quite qualify.

There’s a great Forbes article about a company that built its business with handwritten thank-you notes—13,000 and counting.

The more memorable, personal and creative the “thank you” is, the better. Knowing what gift or token of appreciation would be most meaningful also communicates that you actually know your client or customer.

So periodically, maybe it’s a good idea to ask, how good am I personally / how good are we as a company at saying “thank you?”

Thanks for reading.