Am I the only person in the UK who buys thank-you cards? Sometimes it feels like it, when I find about three choices on the shelves of my local Paperchase. I am alway surprised by how very few thoughtful and witty cards there are, especially as I think that thanking people for kind deeds is one of the fundamentals of life.
Being thanked very clearly and thoughtfully for something that you have done, no matter how small, makes anyone feel appreciated and acknowledged. It also makes the "thanker" feel good about themselves too. In my view, all this mutual appreciation just oils the wheels of life and makes our daily dialogue with each other much more enjoyable and actually more efficient.
Saying thank you is not just important with your nearest and dearest – I believe that it is also just as important in business. Very simply, if people feel that you are grateful for their contribution, no matter how big or how small, they will want to do business with you again. I think that courtesy is particularly important when it comes to the issue of time – surely business' most precious commodity? Whether I am in a meeting or on a phone call, I will always make a point to thank others for the time that they have spent with me. I like to think that I always (or as far as is humanly possible!) try to show the proper amount of appreciation for any kind deeds from either colleagues or clients. I think that it is important that they understand that I have acknowledged them and then hopefully in future they will be likely to repeat the process!
And I don't think that I am being old fashioned. Courtesy and saying your "thank yous" seems to be just as important online too – it is no accident that one of the best ways to build up your Twitter followers is to actually send a "thank you for making contact" to any new followers. The etiquette of correspondence, so important in Victorian times when the Post Office was at its peak with letters being sent and received at all times of the day, now dominates all of our lives whether by text, email or on social media platforms. After all, who wants an online dialogue with anyone who doesn't acknowledge you and says thank you for your time or contribution?