598 - Don’t Thank Me

Posted November 23, 2022 by Mark Perna

Episode: 598

Episode Title: Don’t Thank Me

When you say thank you, do you stop at that or do you expect something in return? It’s a good question for all of us to consider, next on The Perna Syndicate.

 

Ep 598 show:

Hello and welcome to The Perna Syndicate! As we talk about the power of gratitude in the workplace this week, it may be helpful to consider how people don’t want to be thanked.

 

Research shows what a positive effect that gratitude and recognition can have on employee retention. But if we see expressing gratitude as simply another tactic to keep people happy and committed, it can actually backfire.  

 

The worst thank-you is the one that has an ulterior motive. When you express gratitude or offer recognition, you should never expect something in return. 

 

If we do that, we undercut the impact of the gratitude—perhaps even erase it. The other person switches from “oh wow, they appreciate me” to “oh wow, they want something from me.” Talk about a buzzkill. No one likes to be manipulated.

 

Although it’s good to be more intentional about expressing gratitude, sometimes a spontaneous thank-you can be the best. Not planned, not rehearsed, and not calculated; it simply flows from how much you value the other person. You have no hidden outcome that you’re trying to achieve. 

 

It’s like checking in and walking away—the check-in retains its positive impact when you don’t pair it with something you need the other person to do. Honest and without expecting anything in return: that’s the best way to express our thanks.   

 

Tomorrow: what are you personally thankful for? On the next episode of The Perna Syndicate, I’ll share some of the things that have me feeling grateful every day. See you then!


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Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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