How do you feel about writing the boss a condolence note?
I appreciate some distance between work and personal life though clearly, who we are is a blend of both. The boss, your supervisor, the team leader-- has family and will lose family.
Here are my 5 tips for expressing condolences in a professional relationship:
- Use simple stationery. Do not use company letterhead but personalized business stationery is fine. Do not use a legal pad or a greeting card covered in roses.
- If there is a printed message on a card, it should be brief and kind but not syrupy.
- Find out and use the name of the deceased: it's okay to ask the person you are writing to, "what is your mother's name?" (note the use of the present tense "is"!)
- Some useful Keys To Comfort expressions are: "this must be a difficult time," "I hope you are having a chance to share stories and memories with others in the family," "many people are probably thinking about ______, and how she touched their lives."
- A simple closing-- 'Sincerely' or 'Take Care' is appropriate and sufficient.
And, if YOU are the boss, set a wonderful example, and write a note to your bereaved employee. One of my brothers is the very busy president of Ithaca College; when he learns of a loss, he takes a few moments to handwrite a meaningful condolence. IT MATTERS!