Add specifics when you say ‘Thank you’ in email

For sincere expressions of gratitude, spend an extra minute to cite the good deed itself and the difference it made in your day. You’re welcome.

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I was once nearing the end of a busy day at work and was just about to shut down my computer, when I received an email from a colleague.

We were in different departments, but I considered her my peer, and, up to this point, we had never had a negative exchange.

I clicked on the email, and read: “You really don’t need to say that. I get enough emails as it is—no need to send one more.”

Confused and not remembering what I could have possibly said to offend her, I went back through my recently sent items and saw the last thing I sent.

It was a simple email with two words: “Thank you!”

In her attempt to reduce the number of emails she was receiving in a day, she was trying to reduce what she thought were frivolous messages—specifically, expressions of gratitude.

For weeks after that, I second-guessed every time I was about to email “Thank you” to a colleague. I became conditioned to thinking that such a simple email was actually a burden, rather than a necessary part of building a positive relationship with someone. I even found myself telling others not to bother with “thank you” because “I get enough emails as it is.”

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