Archives for posts with tag: Thanks

‘Oh, nice one.’

I like receiving a ‘nice one’ from someone. It’s an elegant compliment I think. It’s almost an aside, almost an afterthought, quite understated, and for those three reasons it comes across as both appreciative and genuine. It doesn’t sound perfunctory.

Nice is often thought of as an underwhelming adjectival endorsement, a way of damning someone with faint praise.

‘What do you think of my dress?’

‘It’s nice.’

‘Gee, thanks for that glittering encouragement.’

Nice one, on the other hand, as well as its sister phrase ‘nicely done’, doesn’t carry that undertone of non-commitment. It’s not over the top either. It’s just about right, at least to my English ear which is tuned to appreciate signals of understatement, modesty and humility from others, even if I can’t always give them myself.

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Over the last 5 years or so, a simple ‘thank you’ – surely one of the most powerful phrases in the English language – hasn’t appeared to be enough. I’ve often felt that it depends on how much you mean it, how you execute the comment, but that a ‘thank you’ or ‘thanks’ should be all it takes to express your gratitude.

Instead, over the last half-decade the phrase ‘thanks so much’ has crept into the verbal repertoire of folks, especially the younger ones. Is it a US influence? I don’t know, could be.

I remember being taken out for dinner by my folks for my 18th birthday, half a world ago. After every piece of cutlery, crockery and course was delivered, after every clean-up, I said ‘thanks very much’, feeling that I had to dsiolay my extreme gratitude at being waited on. Half way through the evening my Mum leaned over and whispered, ‘it’s OK to just say thanks or thank you, not thanks very much every time. Maybe save that one for the very end.’ Which I did.

I often hear grateful kids say ‘thanks so much for my birthday present.’ You know they mean it, unless the delivery is laced with sarcasm.

It doesn’t feel natural to me, so I don’t use it. I find it hard to make it sound sincere. Instead I try to show my appreciation for the little things by saying thank you like I mean it, which I almost always do.

Here’s a thing. In business we’re maniacally focused on our customers. We even call them clients, or patients even in the caring professions. Everything we do revolves around them. We work hard to win them, and in the private sector we thank them, take them to lunch and send them corporate gifts. This is something I write about in my first ever blog post here.

I have customers in my business too, and I try to look after them so that there’s a fair exchange of value between us.

What I also really focus on as well is my suppliers. Often we treat our suppliers with a fraction of the care we provide to our customers. Whereas our customers are on the highest pedestal, our suppliers are often the afterthought in the basement.

Good suppliers are absolutely critical to your success, especially if you’re in an industry where you take what your supplier gives you and build on it or resell it for your own wellbeing. I don’t send Christmas cards to friends or family. They have plenty of them already. I send Christmas cards, each with a personal note, to all my suppliers thanking them for their service, help or support during the year.

Are you in the habit of thanking your suppliers? Do you award the best ones with a ‘supplier of the year’ accolade? If you do, you’re in a pretty small minority. You’re bucking the trend. When the world zigs, you zag.