Is THANKS, not ‘sorry’ the hardest word?

Thank you! in typewriter

Is THANK YOU, not ‘sorry’ the ‘hardest word?

Isn’t it amazing that a few letters can be so powerful? Sometimes hard to say?

The power of a word or few words is truly immense, but not always in a positive way. I am reminded how NEGATIVE words can be, and that negative words have three times the impact of POSITIVE ones.

The word BUT is a prime example….’that was really helpful BUT…’. It will be the BUT that is remembered and not the useful comments that may be contained in the sentence. Why not try – ‘that was really helpful’ AND, or ‘that was really helpful, SO…’ And try saying ‘please can you do’…rather than ‘please don’t’. This I find is especially useful with children.

Negative words even in a positive sentence can also have a detrimental effect. When someone says ‘thank you’ and you respond ‘No problem’; what may be ‘heard’ is the word problem, which has negative connotations. Instead try, ‘I appreciate that’, ‘that’s very kind’ or ‘I’m pleased that worked well for you’ / ‘I’m pleased you found that information helpful’. Whatever is appropriate and please BE POSITIVE.

Thank you is a very powerful statement!

Why not make a pledge to say ‘thank you’ more. Not just when someone opens a door for you (the basics of manners!), but to intentionally feedback and say ‘thank you’ whenever it is due. When someone does something for you, shares information, and even when someone complains. A complaint is a ‘golden opportunity’ to improve and make a positive change in the future. It is far worse when someone doesn’t feedback and shares their thoughts with others, or takes their business elsewhere!

Anyone with managerial responsibilities please say ‘thank you’ to your team.  Say ‘thank you’ by telephone, by email, or go wild and produce some hand- written signed notes! Do you know how much they are worth to the recipient? How much goodwill and commitment this could this create?

I have a file of ‘letters, emails, cards and notes that I have collected over a number of years. They mean the world to me. These scraps of paper remind me of occasions when someone felt I MADE A DIFFERENCE, my contribution was recognised, my input was useful and I had a value in someone else’s eyes. These pieces of paper make me feel good!

And just imagine, parents or grandparents amongst you; the impact a ‘thank you’ has with your children or grandchildren! Priceless.

We all need positive reinforcement. It’s not about hierarchy or job titles; it’s about basic needs. You have that power… use it! And;


  • Be honest
  • Be specific
  • Be genuine

To me ‘thank you’ is precious gift, as long it is given with honesty and genuinely intention. I have made a pledge to say ‘thank you’ more; to recognise the effort, kindness and generosity of others.

So please join me in saying ‘thank you’, with sincerity, when it is due. Eight letters, arranged in a simple phrase and really easy to say.

And while we are at it, what about another powerful arrangement of eight letters…..  I LOVE YOU …but that’s another subject altogether. And probably worth some real thought!


And for one of the most beautiful Zeppelin songs ‘Thank You’, click here

And a very genuine ‘Thank You’ from me for reading and sharing this.


About Michaela Finegan

Passionate about the NHS and making it better; for patients and staff. An avid fan of social media with the belief that, along with social marketing, social media the potential to positively affect how we use the NHS and how it provides services to us. First love is music, spending as much time as possible at gigs and festivals. Enduring, everlasting love for my two beautiful sons. All views my own.
This entry was posted in call to action, communication, motivation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Is THANKS, not ‘sorry’ the hardest word?

  1. ‘Thank you’ is such a simple, yet powerful phrase but one that is, sadly, underused. Positive language is equally effective – we should remember the good rather than assume the negative aspect.

  2. Thank YOU Mic for another great blog! I love saying thank you 🙂 combinie it with a smile and the day just gets better and better. Life is just too short not to give (and say) thanks. xx

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