The abuse of “Thank you”

As a Scrum practitioner, how often do you use (or hear) phrases like

  • “Thank you for attending this meeting”
  • “Thank you for being on time for the Sprint Review”
  • “Thank you for providing feedback on the proposal”
  • “Thank you for the constructive atmosphere”

Attending a mandatory meeting is part of the job. Being on time is basic courtesy. Providing constructive feedback is what you are here for. IMHO, there’s absolutely no need to thank anybody for these trivial matters (*).

Au contraire, the inflationary use of “Thank you” waters down your message when it’s time to really thank someone (**). How about

  • “Thank you for going the extra mile to clean up module XYZ”
  • “Thank you for staying late to make up for the time we lost due to unforeseen circumstances”
  • “Thank you for helping me debugging this problem of mine”
  • “Thank you for explaining XYZ to me, I didn’t get it in the first place”

(*) If you need to convey a subtle message, you can always use “I’m really happy to see all of you on time”

(**) You already guessed it, I’m leaning heavily towards “Silence is praise enough”