I’m asked the question often in my etiquette workshops, “who gets the final word and how long the thank yous should continue.” You know the ones I mean – you reply in an email “I appreciate your getting back to me so quickly.” They respond with “No problem, have a great day.” You respond with “Thanks, you, too.” They respond back with “You’re welcome.” Admit it…you’re wondering should I respond ONE more time with something?
Now I realize most people are doing their best to be polite, but it begs to question, when is it over – enough already! Hence the acronyms “NRN” – No Reply Necessary or “NNR” – Need Not Respond. Clever, huh? Of course, it helps if people know what those acronyms mean and actually notice them at the end of the email.
From interviewing people on this topic, I have found that men, in general, are especially annoyed by the constant back and forth – yes, more than women. But people whether male or female are appreciated when able to make their points a little more quickly and avoid being too verbose.
Not all men or all women communicate the same way from a gender perspective. But some statistics seem to indicate that women on average use four times the number of words per day that men use. Are we really that chatty? Heads are nodding, eyes are rolling, and smirks are on faces…I can tell!
Think of it this way, brevity in communication is a way of showing respect for someone’s time. Make your point albeit with courtesy and move on. Know when to express your thanks and perhaps nudge others in the direction of NRN or NNR by using it first.
Striking that perfect balance of communication that resonates with clarity and authenticity while keeping it short and sweet requires effort. Don’t short shrift courtesy by being careless – the more abbreviated your style, the more diplomatic you need to be!
So, on that note, I end my musings on this topic.
NNR (unless you really want to)
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