Industry Update
Opinion Article10 July 2017

The Big Impact of Two Simple Words

By Ozan Dogruyol, Hospitality Executive at Hilton Worldwide

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The words we use have a big impact on the perceptions others have of us. Two of the most profound and impactful words to influence the way others see you are "thank you." These two seemingly simple words make a great deal of difference as to how you are perceived when interacting with others. Neglecting to say them comes across as impolite while saying them when appropriate demonstrates appreciation and respect.


Countless research indicates that what employees desire the most is being appreciated and recognized for the contribution they make. If all the research conducted on this subject is true, saying thank-you goes a long way towards making employees feel appreciated for the value they bring. In fact, an overwhelming majority of the employees who participated in the Employee Engagement survey conducted by Gallup, said that appreciation was the key factor for workplace happiness. So, if all this emanates from two simple words, imagine the impact we all can make by offering up a genuine thank you when it's appropriate.

Saying thank-you is an art. Mastering and practicing this skill will make your daily interactions with people richer and more rewarding. Here are some key tips in thanking others.

Be genuine: The key is very simple: you really have to mean it when you say it. People get it when you genuinely mean something and when you are just going through the motions. Imagine yourself on the receiving end of being thanked when giving recognition.

Be Specific: One way to bring deeper meaning to appreciation is to be specific. You need to be specific about what you are thanking for in order to make the exchange more meaningful and significant. It makes the whole experience more rewarding than just a casual "thanks."

Be prompt: The sooner you express your appreciation, the more effective it will be. So do it immediately if possible. Make sure to send a hand-written note or email within two days after you receive a favor, gift, advice or someone's assistance in getting something done.

Use Their Name: A person's name is the greatest connection to their individuality. It's the single thing we all love the sound of. As Dale Carnegie once famously remarked. "a person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

The thank you e-mail & phone call: With the advent of email and text messaging, people are much less personal in expressing their thanks. If you don't have the opportunity to thank someone in person, call and speak to them. If you can't see them or call them, be quick to send them a hand-written note or a thank-you e-mail.

To quote Robin Sharma, "good manners are a stepping stone to being a remarkable human being. They really show people that you respect them. Yes, having good manners are a common sense. But as the French philosopher, Voltaire once said: Common sense is anything but common."

Saying thank you shows our appreciation and conveys our gratitude. It is a sign of respect to the person who has helped you. It lets the other person know that you don't take them for granted. It is an acknowledgment of the fact that they matter. I think acknowledging any act of kindness sets a tone to show others that they are appreciated. Thank-you can indeed be an incredibly powerful pair of words. Those two words make a world of difference.

Ozan Dogruyol

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    Ozan Dogruyol
    Hospitality Executive at Hilton Worldwide
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