Now all the magic words you’re mother told you to say are running through your mind. I’m not talking about Open Sesame or I’m Sorry. I’m talking about two magic words that you can say to nearly anyone when you ask them to do something and they do it.
Do you remember learning about Please and Thank you?
When you request something from someone, say Please somewhere in the sentence. Not snidely, or sarcastically, but with genuine sincerity.
“Would you make sure that the xyz report is on my desk by 3pm”, you tell your assistant. ”I need you to get those fifteen systems setup by tomorrow night.” I need, I want, I have to have. Insert a please in there somewhere.
When the report shows up on our desk, the next magic word is “Thank you”. Instead of “Its about time” or even worse, no response at all, look up, smile and utter the two magic words, “Thank you”. “Thanks” isn’t enough, that’s an automatic response. “Thank you”. Look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and practice it.
At the end of the week, send a quick email repeating the thanks to people you have requested items from. Thank them for their timely and efficient responses and tell them what it meant to you. Tell them what impact their efforts have made to your work that week.
If you haven’t done this before, you may be greeted with a bit of doubt. People may think you’ve lost your mind or are dying of some disease you haven’t informed them of. Spouses may begin to search your pockets for illicit receipts. They may doubt your intentions. Keep doing it, they’ll get over it.