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My manager has the habit of thanking me after every one-on-one meeting we have. Here is how those meetings goes:

  • I present my work to my manager
  • My manager gives me feedback and helps me improve stuff
  • At the end of the meeting, my manager thanks me

The thing that is troubling me is that:

Is there some agreed upon response I am supposed to give in this situation? If not, is there some way to determine, without asking, if my manager expects me to:

  • Thank them back (since they dedicated there time and helped me)?
  • Accept the thanks (possibly with a "you're welcome") and move on?

Note that my manager and I are only doing our work here. I'm not doing some extra stuff or anything like that.

Notes and clarifications:

  • I don't know what exactly my manager is thanking me for. However, taking the time for such meeting is part of my job
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    Are you sure he is thanking you for the work you did and not for the time you took for the meeting (which you could have used to actually work)? – XtremeBaumer Apr 2 at 8:28
  • @XtremeBaumer I don't know what exactly my manager is thanking me for. However, taking the time for such meeting is part of my job. – Ælis Apr 2 at 8:32
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My POV is that you may be slightly overthinking this. Your manager is just being polite.

It doesn't matter if your "meeting time / report time" is part of your job. He can thank you for [ doing a good job / reporting / listening / whatever ]. He says "thank you" at the end, because that's what well-educated people do. They're polite. And it's a nice way to end a meeting.

The lady at the bakery says it to me. The salesman does it too. The clerk at the bank. The lady/man at the cashier desk. All these people expects the same in return. You'd eventually reap what you sowed.

As a friend, customer, manager, I always thank the people having time with me. Business or not. Be nice, and hopefully, you'll be thanked. And when I leave, I just say: "thanks", or "thanks, see you". Of course, different words with different people, you adapt it.

In your case, as French, in french environment, I'd just say "merci" (thanks) to answer him, and leave. That's what I do. "Anything else? No? OK, thanks everyone". That's clearly a polite way to end a meeting, and that's what your manager is doing. It's like answering "bye" to someone who just told you "bye".

  • So, you just respond "thanks" to a "thanks"? Isn't that a little weird? – Ælis Apr 2 at 17:30
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    Yes, you just do that, and there's nothing weird at all, believe me :) I must do that like 25 times a day, with my students, contractors, or employees. And same outside when buying/shopping. It's very common. – OldPadawan Apr 2 at 18:14
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    2/2 it's like answering bye to someone who just told you bye – OldPadawan Apr 2 at 18:25
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    I think the last paragraph is a bit more on the target. The choice of the word "Thanks"/"Merci" is obviously to be polite, however for me, it is also what tell me that the meeting is finished and unless I have something ot add, I can get back to work. – Walfrat Apr 3 at 8:54
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    Exactly as @Walfrat says: your (and my) manager saying "thanks" is them saying "ok this meeting is over, thanks for coming, bye". I usually answer "Merci à toi(/vous)" (which is kind of "thank you" but with emphasis on the you ) and go back to work :) – Kerkyra Apr 3 at 9:29
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From my own experience I can tell, that everyone normally thanks everyone for participating in the meeting. Though there is no actual need to thank them and its perfectly acceptable to simply acknowledge the "Thanks" with a nod.

I have frequent meetings myself which are also part of my job. In the end the person "hosting" the meeting thanks everyone for their participation (taking their time, which they could probably need for other work as well). Either you simply acknowledge it, or you thank them back for the meeting itself.

Thanking back is mostly the case if the meeting had value for you. This means that something you wanted to know has been clarified or as in your case, you got constructive feedback on your work for further improvements.

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