Home Business Insights & Advice Importance of expressing genuine gratitude in business communication

Importance of expressing genuine gratitude in business communication

by Sponsored Content
5th Dec 22 12:33 pm

Think back to when you worked with a company or boss that never valued your work. It didn’t matter how hard you tried or how productive you were. They just didn’t care

Maybe you’re in that job now, but you’re not alone. Most people have experienced that feeling or are currently experiencing that feeling

Many people think of gratitude as something you express in your personal relationships. While it’s important to express gratitude in those relationships, it’s also equally important to express gratitude in business communication as well

Gratitude in a business context can contribute to a positive work climate and healthy work culture. Whether you’re a team leader or team member, gratitude is a critical component to making your day-to-day experience pleasant and fulfilling

Expressing gratitude improves performance

People want to feel appreciated at work. They want to feel like their actions have meaning and are important.

As a worker, it feels good to be appreciated. When someone shows gratitude to a peer or employee, they are more likely to perform at a higher level.

It’s easy to express gratitude

Often, expressing gratitude is easy, free, and does not require a time commitment. It can be as simple as sending a thank you message.

Writing a genuine thank you

Writing a thank you is an easy way to show your gratitude. When you write and express your appreciation through business communication, you’re working on company culture and making yourself, and another person at your office feel just a little bit better

To communicate your genuine thanks, follow these fundamentals:

  • Be timely about your thank-you. It’s always welcome, and a timely thank-you is preferable to a belated one because the actions are fresh on the mind
  • Avoid adding in additional tasks or requests; say thank you and mean it
  • Tell the person precisely what you’re thanking them for and why you’re grateful. Let them know the positive outcome their actions had
  •  Use direct language to show the person that you appreciate their help. For instance, “I appreciate your attention to this matter” versus “Your attention was appreciated.” The first shows you appreciate the support, and the second does not specify who is grateful
  • Make it personal by using their name
  • Send a note or an email; people love to be thanked

Thank you example

Here is an example “thank you” response that’s less than 100 words

“Thank you for replacing my computer monitor; I appreciate how quickly you came to replace it

I would have needed more time to present to our potential investors, and we might have missed out on a funding opportunity. Because of your speed and expertise, we could show our plan, and everyone could visualise our project. Your actions had a hand in helping the company stay solvent today

On behalf of the entire company, thank you


The message above comes in at under 100 words; in most cases, this will be the typical length of a message.

Avoid this thank you pitfall

It’s best to avoid using the phrase “Thank you in advance” for multiple reasons. The first of which is that it does not sound genuine

The phrase itself makes a presumption that a person will do the thing requested. The presumptuousness of the words makes people feel at least slightly resentful toward the task

Furthermore, people don’t know how to respond. “You’re welcome in advance” sounds snarky, sarcastic, and a bit ridiculous. The silly sound of the “You’re welcome in advance” highlights the silliness of “thank you in advance.”

Another thing is that “thank you in advance” robs the doer of future thanks. A person does something but has been thanked in advance. What is the action they completed made an enormous impact? Will their contribution be ignored now

What to do instead

Most people who write “thank you in advance” don’t think you’ll jump up and make their request. It’s usually a case of trying to be polite in advance

Just delete the “in advance” part of the phrase to make your “thank you” sing. It comes off more genuine and still conveys the message you intend

Thank you in advance for helping me becomes Thank you for helping

The above example shows that dropping the “in advance” part pulls double duty: it keeps the meaning the same, and it is a masterclass in brevity

Positive language examples

Business writing can be powerful. For example, when we express gratitude without thinking, we often use the negatively phrased “no problem.” Why not use this opportunity for some positive language

Imagine how the recipient might feel if you use the alternative phrases below, which are certainly more positive and gracious when compared to “no problem:”

  • You are welcome
  • It was my pleasure
  • Thank you
  • You’re welcome
  • My pleasure
  • Thanks for asking about our …
  • Of course
  • Certainly
  • I’m glad to hear I helped
  • Nice to know I helped
  • Delighted to help
  • We’re here to help
  • You’re welcome
  • I’m glad to hear I helped

Positive language checklist

Let’s take a look at a checklist you can refer to when writing “positively.”

Tell them what you can do rather what you can’t do:

Positive: I will be happy to schedule a meeting at 3 pm to review your proposal

Negative: I’m not available tomorrow morning, so I will not be able to review the proposal until 3 pm

Tell them your desired action rather than the negative action you wish to avoid

Positive: Please leave the servers on during the night

Negative: Please do not turn off the servers during the night

Use a decisive “yes” when replying, rather than the imprecise “okay,” “sure,” or “yeah.” (These words give the impression that a long-suffering sigh is sure to follow.)

Positive: May I take next Monday off as a personal day? “Yes, a personal day on Monday fits our schedule well.” To take the positivity to the next level, follow up with “Enjoy your day off!”

Negative: May I take next Monday off as a personal day? If you reply with “okay” or ” sure,” it can feel a bit begrudging

Choose positive framing instead of negative

Positive: Thank you for your request

Negative: I received your request

Focus on solutions instead of blame

Positive: To complete your request, I will need

Negative: You neglected to include xx in your request

The takeaway

We will leave you with this thought – the implications of positive language are significant, and are certainly worth the effort. Here are some benefits

  • Consultants will enjoy better client engagement
  • Sales people will gain trust and likeability
  • Freelancers will better connect with clients
  • Customer service representatives will comfort agitated customers
  • Business analysts will recognise opportunities and gaps in a manner that promotes teamwork and improvement

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