Use Gratitude to Build Professional Relationships

Showing your appreciation when people are generous with their time and effort builds meaningful and useful relationships. Get-It-Done Guy has more

Stever Robbins
1-minute read

We all depend on other people to get our jobs done. And when someone does something that helps you, notice it! Then thank them and make sure to let them know they're appreciated. You'll build a stronger emotional connection and help solidify your relationship.

Some self-absorbed narcissists believe others should do them favors because they—the narcissists—simply deserve it. They're wrong. People are generous with their time and effort for their own reasons, which can even include (gasp!) wanting to be liked and appreciated. Showing your appreciation is a good way to reinforce that you notice the effort someone is making on your behalf. Just ask Modern Manners Guy.

You can show thanks in ways that express it directly, or that do something nice in return. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Draw a personalized cartoon "Thank you" on a sticky note and leave it on their keyboard. Hand-written notes have a lot of power and show you took the time to give personal attention.

  • Do something to lighten their workload. For example, if they're working on a report that needs to be printed and bound for an important client, offer to make the run to the printer for them.

  • Surprise them with coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or a fat-free, low carb, high-fiber muffin at their desk tomorrow morning. It will make for a positive start to their day.

For more on saying thanks, see my episode on expressing gratitude to build relationships.

Businesswoman with Coffee and Muffin image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.