How do you say thank-you and really mean it?

"Merci beaucoup" and "Domo arigato gozaimasu" are so expressive that without understanding French or Japanese you gauge the politeness and the intended respect and genuine thanks they imply.

Saying "thank-you" is understated, possibly undervalued and a dying art. I was raised to always write a thank-you note to anyone who presented me/sent me a gift and my parents would expect this done immediately! However, as a parent, I am struggling to impart this tradition - something I need to work on.

So, here I am writing cards and selecting appropriate gifts to send and deliver to clients and connections and I'm pondering the right words & actions! I have found myself reflecting on how much gratitude I have for these wonderful relationships - they are my business. Does a hand selected card and bottle of gorgeous bubbles cut it?

How do you say thank-you and really mean it? Do you go into automatic pilot or do you give it some deep thought?

Here's my Top Five approaches to saying "Thanks":

1. Do it in person - with a card & a gift and tell them that you really thought about what to give them (don't say "here's a small token of my appreciation".) to represent your gratitude.

2. Call them or better still use common technology to see eye-balls and have a conversation (and then follow up with a card & gift.)

3. Send them a hand-written card and gift - be mindful if it's a team and if it's to be shared. Take time to think of the words and make sure you can read your writing.

4. Send a voice message - prepare it (and rehearse it) using technology at our disposal and attach to an email with a note.

5. OK, it you have to, send an email - but personalize it. Highlight something specific that has occurred during the year.

Thanks for reading and sharing. I hope that we all take more care this year when we say "I wanted to especially thank you - I appreciate the connection we have and I selected this bottle of bubbles for you to share with .... !"