As a business leader, you want your employees to be loyal to you and trust you. One simple way to earn trust is to show appreciation to others. Saying thank you can be uncomfortable for some people. It can be especially hard to do when receiving critical feedback. Here are some times when it is important to say thank you:

When Someone Compliments You 

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often people brush off compliments while trying to be humble. For example, if someone tells you that you did a good job in a presentation, you might be tempted to give excuses or point out your own shortcomings in the presentation rather than accept the compliment. Brushing away compliments like this keeps you from recognizing how kind it was for the complementor to say that to you. Simply saying thank you will help your employees to trust you as a leader.  

When You’re Late 

Usually you would apologize for being late. However, if you instead thanked the other person for waiting, that recognizes their kindness in dealing with your mistake. Frequently, apologies come with excuses. The better thing to do when you’re late is to thank the other person for their patience with you.  

When You Are Receiving Feedback 

Whether this feedback is helpful, unhelpful, or even asked for, thanking the person giving you feedback is usually the best response. Thanking your employees for the feedback they give you makes them more likely to trust you enough to share their thoughts in the future. This can be helpful when dealing with problems in your company. When someone is giving unhelpful or disrespectful feedback, saying thank you can help you to distance yourself from the situation and take in the feedback in an appropriate way.  

When an Employee is Sharing Personal Struggles 

It can be hard for employees to share what’s going on in their lives with business leaders, such as yourself. When they do, it is something that you can thank them for. For example, if an employee expresses a family issue, don’t try to look for the silver lining. Tell them thank you for sharing with me, then offer your support in any way possible. This will make it easier for you to know what to do, and will make your employees more likely to trust you.  

Try saying thank you in these situations to create more trust between you and your employees.