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Remember to Say “Thank You”

Happy holidays! I hope this season of peace is bringing you joy and contentment.

If you have received gifts for Chanukah, Christmas, or another celebration, remember to express your appreciation. Even if the giver is someone who is trying to win your business, a gift is a gift. It requires an expression of thanks.

Here’s why I mention the need for thanks: I was talking with a corporate consultant the other day. He told me he has sent lovely gifts to clients–things like gourmet chocolates and expensive pens–and they have not even acknowledged them. I bet that if I had encouraged him, he could have told me the names and companies of individuals who had not thanked him for his gifts.

Social slights stand out and stick in the memory. They weaken relationships and commitment.

You can easily nurture and strengthen your relationships by saying “thank you.” Even if you don’t like chocolates (or pens, flowers, cheese, books, or other gifts), email a simple message of thanks like this one:

Subject: Thank You for Your Thoughtful Gift

Dan, it was very thoughtful of you to send chocolates. I am sharing them with the team, and everyone is enjoying the luxurious treat.

Thank you for thinking of us.

Happy new year!


I hope you enjoy many end-of-year activities, but make time for thank-yous!


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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

11 comments on “Remember to Say “Thank You””

  • Dear Lynn,

    I wanted to say how much I appreciate your tips and reminders, not just today, but for the whole year. Thank you so much!

    Have a wonderful new year!


  • Dear Lynn,
    Another excellent article and one that I think was very pertinent as many of us seem to ignore the importance of thanking others.
    Speaking of a thankful heart, I appreciate your posts and always learn or(relearn)something valuable!
    Hoping 2014 is a fulfilling year for you!

  • Hi, Vicki.

    I agree that expressing thanks is something many people forget. And we need to recognize the consequences. The consultant who told me about not getting a response seemed disheartened by it, especially when he had chosen a lovely pen for a client. When he emailed to ask her whether she had received it, she responded, “Oh, that pen?” That was it–no thanks, no other acknowledgment.

    Thanks for YOUR appreciation and good wishes. I wish you a rewarding 2014!


  • Dear Lynn! English is my second language. I know I do a lot of mistakes, because I still think on Russian and trying to translate it to English. 😉 I am so happy I have found your blog. It helps me a lot. Your articles are easy to understand (most of the time for me :)) and your positive attitude makes me write responds ignoring luck of good English 😉 I wish you to be healthy and your blog to continue to have a success in New 2014 Year. Thank you for your blog again!!! From your Canadian reader.

  • I couldn’t agree more with this post. We always send out holiday gifts to clients we work with and they almost always show their appreciation for the gift in one way or another. Especially in the slow winter months it doesn’t take much to send out a quick thank you card or pick up the phone. A business relationship should be more than JUST business I think. In Japan, I’ve heard they do not do business with someone unless they first develop that positive relationship with them and that’s what I think more business relationships should be like. You are much more likely to do better work for someone you like and who likes you.

    Happy New Year

  • GOMU, type THANK YOU in the search box, and you will find many more blog posts on saying thank you.

    If you are reading this blog from a computer, the search box should be at top right. If you are on your phone, scroll to the very bottom of your screen, and the search box should appear. If neither of those approaches works, type “business writing blog” and “thank you” in your own internet search.

    Good luck!


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