Forget about “You’re Welcome”; Step Up to “I Know You’d Do the Same for Me”

I just read a great blog by Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of GIVE AND TAKE.


When it comes to building our businesses, it all comes down to relationships.

When we do something for someone, they generally say “thank you”, and we mumble our banal response, “you’re welcome.” This response is scripted and long ago lost any meaning for either you or the person who said it.

Now Adam Grant is proposing that we say goodbye to “you’re welcome” and upgrade to “I know you’d do the same for me.” According to Grant, there are at least three potential advantages of the new response.

  1. It conveys that we have the type of relationship where we can ask each other for favors and help each other without keeping score.
  2. It communicates confidence that you’re the kind of person who’s willing to help others. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy helping others, and I want to be recognized as someone who’s generous with her time.
  3. It activates reciprocity, making sure that you feel obligated to pay the favor back in the future.

Of course, the operative word here is relationship. Every business owner knows that it’s all about relationships—building, growing and keeping them. I like this new response because it’s a departure from the perfunctory “you’re welcome”. “I know you’d do the same for me” is a way to establish a deeper, more personal connection that is the basis of a stronger relationship. I plan to start testing this in February and see what happens!

Need help creating clearer communications to help you grow your relationships? Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and digital media experts.

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