"Say thank you": Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

Life is never without its challenge, but there is always the opportunity to learn and grow from those demands made on us. Dr Neil Thompson offers advice to tackle these problems and help social workers and care professionals to realise their potential.

23/05/21

"Say thank you": Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

Saying please and thank you is a basic part of what we are taught as children.

But saying thank you is more than just good manners. It is a way of showing appreciation and of cementing cooperative working relations.

While it is certainly not uncommon for people to say thank you to one another in the appropriate circumstances, there are also very many occasions when it is not said and when it could have been very helpful to do so.

There are also many times when it is said in a curt or routine way that does not really convey appreciation – it comes across as just a social ritual, rather than a meaningful (and effective) communication.

Try two things as an exercise: First, watch carefully as people interact (whether in real life or on TV or in films) and note how often thank you is not said (or not said convincingly) and consider how different the interaction might have been if a genuine thank you had been said. Second, try saying thank you meaningfully whenever the opportunity arises (without going overboard!) and see what response you get from people.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser.

His website is www.NeilThompson.info.

Connect with him online via @drneilthompson.

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