Napoleon Hill, one of the world’s first authors on personal success, said “The ability to influence people without irritating them is the most profitable art known to man.”

Wow! As charismatic leaders, what does this mean? There are many techniques, but the one I would like to focus on today is the art of saying “Thank you.”

Why is it so hard to compliment another person and acknowledge a job well done? Here are two possible reasons:

1. Urgency. I have been caught in the trap of urgency. I am in too much of a hurry. I check off the project and move on to the next without properly thanking those who made the project a success.

2. Ego. Sometimes my ego gets in the way. In some deep recess of my brain, I’m thinking, “They are better than I am” and I downplay their success.

One of the hardest lessons leaders have to learn is to stop the incessant checking off of tasks and  let another person shine by giving them appreciation and an appropriate thank you.  Your thank you can be as simple as:

  • Thanks for sharing your insights in the meeting today. They were valuable.
  • I appreciate the way you handled that customer. You let them vent appropriately and then solved their problem quickly.
  • The extra effort you gave on the ad hoc committee was outstanding. Thank you for giving us discretionary effort.
By thanking people, you’ll be in the charismatic leaders category in your organization.
I’d like you to say thank you to your employees and then share the benefits and your outcomes with us all by commenting below. You may be surprised that a simple thank you gets you more than other perks, a bump in salary or a new title. I look forward to hearing your experiences.

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