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Thank You is the Most Powerful Word but Often Times Only 7% Effective

I have written repeatedly about the importance of appreciation, and the power and simplicity of a genuine thank you.

Let me see if I can illustrate the point with a story.

I used to travel around the planet with Dr. Ken Blanchard doing front end analysis and implementation work with him. One of my favorite things that Ken typically did when he was running a seminar or a session was a fabulous ice breaker. Ken would say, “Everyone stand up. I have special instructions for you. Over the next two minutes, I want every one of you to greet as many people as you can. As you greet them, don’t make eye contact, and look over their shoulder as if you are looking for someone way more important than the person you are greeting.”

Typically what would happen is people would do speed greeting, basically swimming over one another looking for someone way more important. Then after a couple of minutes, Ken would say, “Stop what you are doing. Now, for the next two minutes, again I want you to greet as many people as you can but greet them in such a way that you are discovering a long lost friend.”

Then, over the next two minutes the energy level and the noise level in the room would get thunderous.

People would be bear hugging, back slapping and folding hands inside of hands.

It’s a wonderful ice breaker because if you think about it, it’s the exact same words and the exact same activity with different intentionality.

When you ask people to describe what the first two minutes felt like they would say things like, “insincere, fake, not appreciated, and not valued.”

Then when we asked people to describe what the second two minutes felt like, they would say things such as, “genuine, authentic, warm, bonding and valued.”

Now, I’d like to ask you to take a moment to stop and think about your interactions.

Are you doing those intentionally? Or are you looking for someone more important?

As I stated at the beginning of this blog, I believe deeply in the power of thank you and appreciation but only if done with intentionality.

If you think about the two examples and the different reactions within those two minute periods, I would argue that the difference is the 58% and the 35%, not just the 7%.

You say, “huh?”

I reply, “Communication is 7% the words we say, 35% the tonality, and 58% is our body language.”

If you are praising someone or trying to recognize someone and you say the words but do it in such a way where you forget about the body language and tone, you are missing 93% of the praise / recognition / appreciation opportunity.

Believe me when I tell you that this principle is powerful in business, but way more powerful in your personal relationships.

Please click here to view the info graphic below as a reminder to get the most out of your thank you’s.

Thank You


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