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June 13, 2018


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Thank you for this very useful information!

Greg Goodmacher

Saying thank you should be common sense.


These are wonderful, Lynn. The advice from childhood that always stuck with me was to be specific with your thank you (your #3) — describe what exactly you appreciated about the gift. I also appreciate the nod to honesty. If it wasn't right for you, there are tons of ways to still express thanks without lying.

One other thing that stuck with me, for whatever reason, is to resist the temptation to thank them twice. That is, you don't say "thank you again" at the end. That's a tough one, and I'm not even sure of its purpose, but I can't break the habit of abiding by it.

Lydia Ramsey

I am business etiquette expert, professional speaker, trainer and author. Anyone who has ever attended my training sessions, heard me speak or read my books and articles knows that I am huge fan of the handwritten note. This form of communication has gone the way of the do-do bird. I believe that the best way to stand out in business is to write notes. Studies have shown that people rarely receive any kind of personally written note by postal mail. These rarities are treasured and often kept in a special place. I hope your post is seen by many and put into practice. The results will speak for themselves.

Business Writing Blog

Thank you for commenting, Elena, Gregg, Rob, and Lydia. I loved hearing from you.

Greg, I agree that saying thank you SHOULD be common sense, yet many people, especially young adults, are falling short.

Rob, I'm glad you appreciated the advice on saying thank you even if we don't like the gift. It's so important. On one of your other points, I think it's fine to thank people twice. What makes me grin is the surprising number of times people end a message with "Thanks again" when they haven't said thank you to begin with.

Lydia, I wholeheartedly agree about the personal note. I received one this week in a beautiful card, which now stands on my mantel as a happy reminder of the sender. At the same time, I want to encourage people to send written thanks in whatever way works for them. An email or even a text is much better than no thanks at all. (I wish my nephew would read that sentence!)



I remember being told once that it is never too late to say thank you. What do you think? I believe that sending a thank you promptly after you receive your "gift" is ideal. But if there is some oversight, or some other reason your thank you goes out 'late', I think it is better late than never. A thank you is an appreciative kindness shown for a kindness given. It does not have an expiration date.

Business Writing Blog

Pamela, I agree. Prompt thanks are ideal, but belated thanks are still thank-yous. I would never let the passage of time get in the way of expressing appreciation.

I like your wording: "It does not have an expiration date." I have not yet received a thank-you for a wedding gift I mailed 18 months ago (and I know it arrived). But if I received a gracious note from the couple today, I would be delighted.

In Keith Ferrazzi's book "Never Eat Alone" he mentioned that he always notices the first thank-yous he receives, for example, after a keynote speech. In his case, being prompt increases one's chances of being noticed. I bet the same is true when applicants write thank-yous for interviews.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.



I understand why we should say "thank you" even if the gift is not what you expected. But what if it's something you really don't like? Like the grapefruit you mentioned. You say "thank you" and the next time you're going to receive grapefruit again and again and again, because the sender thinks you like them! Surely in a business relationship I wouldn't mind, but on a more personal level (friends, family...) I think we should find a way to kindly let the people know about our tastes.

Business Writing Blog

You make a great point, Deborah. My husband, who does not drink, repeatedly received a bottle of wine as a gift from some neighbors. He would always give it to me. Finally, one day when we were at their house, he mentioned that he did not drink when offered something. They stopped giving him gifts of wine.

Should we have told them sooner? Probably. The first time they gave him wine, he might have said, "Thank you. Lynn will enjoy this. I actually don't drink."



That's really interesting, thank to your website for sharing this!

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