“Wait. It takes less than 10 seconds, it makes me feel good and them feel good . . . then it’s twice as likely to happen in the future?”
You can change a person’s future behavior with a few small words.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. As a matter of fact, you’ve known these words since you were two years old. The problem is that you didn’t really mean them when you said them as a toddler. You’ll have a huge opportunity if you’ll start making them heartfelt today.
“Thank you.” Saying thank you in a meaningful way, results in two people being changed for the better. (And you are one of the people!) Check this really cool research.
Life change results from these two words. But when you say them, do you mean it? CLICK TO TWEET
Two really smart profs came up with a way to test what happens when people say “thank you.” They set up an experiment where people were being paid to help (fake) students by reviewing their job application cover letter. The people being paid were emailed a cover letter: they made edits and helpful comments, then sent it back to the “students” and received their pay.
Here’s what happened next . . . after the official agreement had been fulfilled, the fake students sent back an email with one of two responses. The first group of helpers were sent a simple email of acknowledgement: “Dear name of person who helped, I just wanted you to know that I received your feedback on my cover letter.” That was the control group, those who received no heartfelt thanks.
The second group of helpers were sent this email: “Dear name of person who helped, I just wanted you to know that I received your feedback on my cover letter. Thank you so much! I’m really grateful for your investment in me.” Basically, the “students” took an extra five seconds to express meaningful gratitude. Now we come to the payoff!
The next day the students wrote the helpers (who were from the second group) again, asking for personal help with another cover letter that the helper would not be paid for. Many people are nice: 32% of the helpers, who received the simple email acknowledgement, were willing to help again. And 66% of the people who received the heartfelt thank you were willing to help again. And it gets better! The profs then had a second students contact the helpers saying, “I heard you helped my friend with a cover letter, would you please help me too?”
Let me tell you why this part of the experiment is important. They were testing not just the connection to the person who had said thanks, but also testing how the helpers felt about themselves! Once again, those who had been thanked in a significant way were more than twice as likely to help a stranger than those who weren’t thanked properly. The researchers noted that those who had been thanked well were feeling “a personal validation that my contribution here is really meaningful and valued.”
STOP! Don’t read on until you get this! When you take the extra 10 seconds to thank someone, and don’t just say the words, FEEL IT FROM YOUR HEART.
Magic Words: Your extra effort on my behalf made a difference—I am truly grateful. CLICK TO TWEET
Bottom Line: Look someone in the eye and say, “Your extra effort on my behalf made a difference—I am truly grateful.” You will become a happier, more thankful person. YOU ARE CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. The other person is validated, recognized for his or her contribution, and feels valued. They want to help more people as a result of you being a champion. THEY ARE CHANGED FOR THE BETTER.
Be thankful out loud and mean it. You’ll make the world a better place!
What are some really kind words that we can say to convey our thanks? Leave your comment below.
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