The Power of Thank You in a Negotiation

Thank you on a steel garage door security panel in a partially opened state with lamps hanging from the ceiling

Being polite and paying attention to social norms is always important, but especially in a negotiation. By addressing politeness and simply acknowledging something positive with a simple thank you, this can go a long way to overcome negative emotional feelings.

Other Sources


In a previous blog read about the power of thank you in a negotiation with the IRS and consider other tips that can help you taken from The Servant Manager: 203 tips from the best places to work in America.L

Learn from Ben Franklin


Being grateful to others encourages others to continue to be gracious going forward. Consider the Benjamin Franklin effect. As an ambassador to France,


Benjamin Franklin would ask if he could borrow a book


from a party that may have initially disliked him to allow him to thank the other person for being generous with the loan. This allowed him to share something with the other party in gratitude when returning the book. This worked very well for him, and the concept can work well for you to build a positive relationship with others.

Apply Ben’s technique


Think how this could help with those that have a negative impression of you. Benjamin Franklin did this with total strangers.


Expressions of gratitude motive helpful acts.


This can be beneficial when developing a relationship and especially in a negotiation.

Research supports this approach


Experiments with volunteers found that by simply thanking them versus not thanking them,


volunteers were twice as likely to help having been thanked


when asked again. Think about how powerful that is. A simple thank you can have a significant impact on cooperation and collaboration.

Learn from the best coaches


Coaches know the impact of positive reinforcement and appreciation.

They understand that looking for creative ways to inspire and encourage others goes a long way towards improvement. Similarly, a thank you can go a long way towards breaking the ice in a cool negotiation. Simple acts of kindness can have a significant impact. Positive acknowledgment can make a big difference when negotiating with someone later on, and may even inspire others to look for ways to improve cooperation and collaboration.

This may even encourage creative thinking that may foster an environment for mutual cooperation.

Listen and say thank you


Understanding individual concerns by


listening effectively, asking open ended questions, and understanding


what is important to the other party given his or her style, goes a long way towards a successful negotiation. Simply starting with a thank you, to begin to explore concerns, interests and style can lead to much better understanding with the other party.

Can Mike Gregory help you and your team?


Mike Gregory is an expert on conflict resolution. He focuses on conflict resolution business to business, business to government (IRS)and within businesses. Mike is an international speaker and he has written 11 books including Business Valuations and the IRS: Five Books in One, The Servant Manager and Peaceful Resolutions. Mike may be contacted directly at and at (651) 633-5311. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]