I've been getting requests for tips on how to write an apology, and I am happy to oblige. For every piece I write--whether it's a report, a thank you, a proposal, a recommendation, a resume, a request, or an apology--I think about my reader's questions. These are the questions...
Email has become such a communication lifeline that it's hard to imagine not answering it promptly. When we are away from the office for even a day or two, we want people to receive a response from us. We shudder to imagine not sending a response for an entire...
Do you struggle with the first sentences of business letters? Review these examples. They will give you ideas on how to start your business letters and email messages. To respond to a letter of complaint:Thank you for writing to us about your experience in our copy center last week....
Today is a national holiday in the United States: Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Dr. King was a peace activist and a passionate advocate for social justice and racial equality. He was born on January 15, 1929, and assassinated on April 4, 1968. The holiday in celebration of Dr....
Recent visitors to this blog have been searching for answers to post-holiday etiquette questions. Here are three good ones: Is it necessary to respond to Christmas greetings? How do I say thank you for a Christmas gift when I don't celebrate Christmas? How do I write a thank you for a business...
You've probably experienced this awkward situation: a person makes a request to you in writing, and you have to say no--in writing. On the telephone or in person, you could respond earnestly, "I'm sorry! I wish I could!" or "Unfortunately, I have to say no." But it's a bit...
Writing a thank you is one of the easiest tasks in business writing. It's a short, happy message that makes both writer and reader feel great. Some recipients even post thank you notes on their bulletin boards and in scrap books, so the good feelings live on. To communicate...
Lately I've been thinking about courteous business writing. That topic always reminds me of a message I got from my friend and longtime colleague Cindy Clay, for whom I used to do a lot of writing. I had emailed a book review to Cindy, and she really didn't like...
I just got a quick 13-word email that made me smile and made my work life easier. The pleasing message was simply this: "I don't know--but I'll find out and get back to you ASAP." No, it's no subtle pun that amused me. It's that the writer, Ken Dehn, took the...
Today at a business lunch I heard a tale of bad manners in business writing. Here's the story: A job candidate, who had been searching for a position for quite a while, had four interviews with a prestigious Seattle firm. Naturally, he was getting excited. And he should be: his...