am I going overboard with praise for my team?

A reader writes:

One of my struggles in managing my team is with recognition – but oddly, not the usual problems of under-recognizing effort. I’m afraid I may occasionally get too effusive with my thanks for my team’s comfort, or thank someone one time too many. Additionally, I find that I occasionally stun some of them by thanking them for doing tasks that I find incredibly helpful, yet they consider to be business as usual.

I have frequent one-on-one’s and team meetings and have built a strong rapport, and I have determined that they operate from a sense of equal fairness while I prefer equitable fairness. I have factored that into public recognition. I’m not sure that my team members even really have a problem with my saying thanks too much – it might be that they haven’t heard it before.

How would you suggest I broach this topic – if even bringing it up? Is this something I should mention to my team, or is this something I should work on for myself and not mention?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

{ 64 comments… read them below }

  1. MarMar*

    I would agree that thanks works best peer-to-peer. If someone goes above and beyond to help me when they weren’t required to, it’s important to express gratitude. But when you’re the boss, all of your requests are technically required. Not helping you isn’t an option, so gratitude can come off awkwardly.

    1. merp*

      Interesting. My boss thanks me for things (sometimes similar in some ways to like Alison says, specifically related to things that went well, but sometimes more general) but I don’t dislike hearing it or feel it’s awkward. I think it might depend on the workplace. My job requires a lot of teamwork and collaboration and even though my boss is of course on a different level, maybe that’s what makes the difference for me.

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      I think it matters how effusive the thanks/gratitude is – it’s pretty routine where I work to use “thank you!” to acknowledge receipt of something or task completion. It’d be super weird if someone gushed over routine completion of a job responsibility, but I work with a few people who use thing like “acknowledged” to respond to things most others would say thanks for, and I find that more stilted and awkward.

      The problem with over-expression of thanks/gratitude is that it ultimately renders it meaningless in situations that genuinely call for it. It can also make people who are public-praise averse (hi!) feel awkward and embarrassed rather than appreciated.

      1. fhqwhgads*

        Yep. If I do something that is literally my job to do every day, and I do it, and I get an email from a higher up saying “Thank you for doing this!!!!!!!” (real life example), that’s weird. Whereas if it were more like Alison’s example “Thanks for fitting this into an already busy week.” or similar (where the thanks aren’t about the task – which we all know is routine – but other circumstances surrounding it) it makes more sense.

    3. Grapey*

      I appreciate it when my boss throws in a “Looks good” or some other tiny acknowledgement of my skills. Making gratitude a habit goes a long way for the sender and recipients.

      At home, my husband and I always thank each other for doing chores – just because they’re a responsibility doesn’t mean acknowledgement isn’t appreciated.

    4. Kettricken Farseer*

      I disagree with this quite strenuously. I’m also effusive with praise for my employees and they appreciate it. I can’t understand why it would be awkward to thank your own staff? If you think they don’t deserve it because that’s what you’re paying them to do is a great way to lose staff.

      1. allathian*

        It depends on where you’re coming from, but I definitely agree with Alison on this one. Effusive thanks can feel demeaning, if the recipient gets the feeling that the boss doesn’t trust the employee’s ability to do their job well.
        Generic thanks, particularly effusive ones, don’t do much for me. But I do appreciate positive feedback on specific things that I’ve done particularly well, or for my willingness to be flexible in exceptional circumstances, for example.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        I think both Alison and people in the comments have covered why thanking employees effusively all the time is awkward and has down sides. (I love the description below of it being performative, actually.) It is great that your staff appreciates it; others might not (or your staff simply would not provide you feedback their feelings about it).

        There is a wide range between effusive praise for doing each bit of their jobs and never saying thank you at all, much less thinking the don’t “deserve” it. No one’s suggesting the latter, just that gushing over someone sending their weekly TPS report in timely and correctly is a bit much and diminishes the value of that praise for things that were actually tougher or above and beyond. I have a lot of people on my team who value competence and knowledge over relationships, and going on to them about every small thing is going to diminish my effectiveness in their eyes because they would think I didn’t know enough about what they do to know what’s a Big Deal and what anyone with a half-hour of training is capable of.

  2. Blue Eagle*

    This topic is very interesting for me. One place I worked at my first boss was great. But it was kind of funny because he never praised me “per se” because he said he always knew when I worked extra hard and did a great job because I told him – – and then he would praise me. And I appreciated it. And then there was his replacement boss. The only things he would praise me for were the easy simple things and it seemed he was clueless about (and seldom mentioned) the things I worked extra hard on and were major accomplishments. Needless to say I didn’t have much use for that boss. {Other issues too, but not related to this topic}

  3. Overpraised*

    Does anyone have thoughts on how to respond when you’re on the receiving end of these comments? Is a genuine but quick “thanks” the best way to go? Or is there a way to politely push back? It seems ungrateful to say “I’m just doing my job!”

    1. merp*

      I go with something like “of course, happy to!” but I’m also a pretty informal person in a pretty informal work atmosphere so I’m not sure if that would work for everyone.

    2. juliebulie*

      “Aw shucks”
      “It was fun working with alpacas for a change”
      “I hope it works the way we want it to”
      “I’m just glad it’s over”
      “We were a good team”

      1. Pilcrow*

        “It was fun working with alpacas for a change”

        Bonus points if you literally say “alpacas” to your boss.

    3. Kettricken Farseer*

      A ‘thank you’ is your best route, I think. It’s really like any other kind of compliment in that someone says something positive about you
      “I like your dress!” “Thanks!”
      “Great job on that report, I appreciate you!” “Thanks!”

  4. Threeve*

    Could someone explain what equal fairness vs. equitable fairness means in this context?

    1. fposte*

      It was an odd direction to take in a discussion of praise, IMHO. With praise it would seem to mean that the newbie gets praised for successfully completing her first Excel doc while the veteran doesn’t, instead getting praise for, oh, a highly interconnected multi-table spreadsheet. But I also don’t think employees would generally object to that, and it seems weird that this would have come up in meetings with staff. I’m therefore wondering if she meant that’s her approach overall and she’s been aware that her employees are much more sauce-for-the-goose people.

    2. Jedi Squirrel*

      Google “equity vs equality cartoon”. That’s the best explanation I’ve seen so far.

      (BTW, the original artist who came up with that is Craig Froehle, whose idea has been stolen multiple times. I’ll post a link in a follow-up comment.)

    3. Wendy*

      I took as them wanting the same thanks for doing similar things regardless of circumstances, like Bob stayed an extra 30 minutes to meet a deadline and wants the same praise/recognition as Joe who stayed 3 hours. Bob wants a shout out in a team meeting just like Joe got.

    4. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

      Equal / equitable are two different ways of seeing something as ‘fair’ (or of seeing the way something is treated in general).

      If you see “equal” treatment as being the path to fairness, it means everyone being treated the same. So for example if you have a bonus pot of $1000 for a project and 10 people who contributed to the project, it could be shared out $100 to each person.

      “Equitable” treatment means everyone gets ‘their fair share’ which isn’t necessarily the same between everyone. The $1000 could ‘equitably’ be shared out with different amounts given to different people in the proportion that people contributed to the project, how well each person performed, or whatever the ‘criteria’ are.

      I think OP means that the team has a preference for ‘equal’ (rather than ‘equitable’) treatment, so she tries to give the same amount of praise to each person which results in some of them feeling stunned at being thanked for something like “submitting the TPS report on time” or whatever, which they might see as just part of their job. This part was a bit unclear as to what the OP meant by that.

      (In my place though, we have a problem with TPS reports being submitted on time so perhaps there should be more praise given to people for doing them! haha)

  5. bmj*

    fully agree with Alison’s advice. My boss is too over the top with thanking people, and it does feel both condescending and performative. Like thanking me so that their own boss can see them thanking me, because they think it makes them look like “A GOOD LEADER!!”. They also thank me and my team as a group often, which annoys me because I think they often misunderstand who does what (despite the fact that we have frequent one-on-ones and a whole set of documentation about who is the lead on what) and because they jump in before I even have a chance to talk to my own team. I’m not saying never do it. but it has to feel genuine.

  6. AnotherSarah*

    I really hate being thanked for things that are my job. Sure, some people send better emails than others, but really, if emailing clients is part of my job and I do it even at an A+ level, unless I’ve really done something remarkable it just feels demeaning.

    The times I’ve been praised by a boss for basically doing my job well are times when the boss had no clue how to do what I was doing, which didn’t make her look very good. (I know sometimes subordinates have know-how the boss doesn’t, but that was never the case with us; it was stuff she probably should have known how to do.)

    1. Kettricken Farseer*

      I’m curious why it feels demeaning? I give thanks to people for regular stuff as well as above-and-beyond.

        1. allathian*

          This, exactly. It feels like the manager thinks the employee exceeded expectations when they just did a routine core task.
          When I work, I sure appreciate the thanks I get from the internal customers I provide services for, even if they’re more or less an acknowledgement of delivery. But it would feel really weird if my boss thanked me separately for every task I did. We have a ticketing system, so she can see what we’ve done and can read our written exchanges with our customers on the tickets if she wants, but she has neither the time nor the inclination to do that, because she trusts us to do our jobs. However, if we get a thorny case, we can CC her on the ticket and she gets an email notification so she can intervene. Occasionally I CC her when I try to explain to an internal customer why we can’t accept the task they’re trying to get us to do (outside our remit or would require resources we don’t have). When the customer gets back to us and agrees that the request was unreasonable because they’ve understood my explanation, my boss has so far always thanked me for doing a good job with the customer. Sometimes, my boss will have to intervene if the customer tries to force the issue and she has the clout to push back even when I don’t. That’s when I thank her for helping out. :)

      1. fhqwhgads*

        For example, if you hired me to fix your printers, and then a printer breaks and I fix it, too strong a thanks (or amazement) feels condescending. Like, yeah, that’s literally why I’m here. If there’s too much effusiveness for something run of the mill it can come off as surprise that I could actually do the thing, whereas my assumption would’ve been if I couldn’t actually do the thing, I should be fired, so why is it so exciting that I exhibited basic competence?
        It’s different if it’s a run of the mill thing in an extraordinary circumstance vs a totally normal everyday circumstance.

        1. Can be rainy*

          I concur. It happened to me. My boss’ boss was so effusive in thanking me for the most basic parts of my work that I ended up worried that he considered me too junior for the role. Or that he hoped to pidgeon-hole me at my current level, as opposed to moving up in my career. Of course, I was the youngest (and only women) in the team, and my role had had a dizzying turnover /s

      2. Elsajeni*

        It definitely makes a difference how effusive the thanks is, and how specific it is. Over-thanking someone for an everyday task, without some specifics about why you’re expressing extra gratitude on this particular occasion — “I really appreciate that I can always count on this record being up to date when I need it,” or “Thanks for putting a rush on this so I had it in time for my meeting,” or whatever — comes across as either surprise that I successfully did the thing, or… hmm, patronizing encouragement? Like, the way you would praise a preschooler who’s just learning to pick up after themselves for carrying a dish to the sink. I got it, thanks; I do this task every day and do not need to be positively reinforced into it.

  7. fposte*

    I would also differentiate thanks from praise. “Thanks” is just the end bracket to a request; maybe it comes after the employee says “I got to those boxes today” after I asked or maybe it’s straight out “Could you get to those boxes today? Thanks.” Praise is “You did a really good job on those boxes. That was very quick for such a large number/they’re especially boxy.”

    1. Forrest*

      Yes, this seemed pretty key to me. Alison’s reply seemed to suggest dialling way back on the thanks and instead using more descriptive praise and feedback. I think the latter is important, but I’m not sure it REPLACES gratitude, I think gratitude is another thing you can and should express where appropriate.

      However, there is a thing where people are self-consciously thanking you, and drawing attention to it. If you do thank people regularly—and I think it’s a good thing if you do!—you have to do it casually and move past it quickly and not look like you’re trying to get a particular reaction from the people you’re thanking.

      (Having said that, how and where you express gratitude is individual and cultural—in the north of England, we thank bus drivers when we get off, and Londoners (or all southerners?) think this is weird! You will see and hear endless iterations of the conversation: “you’re literally just thanking someone for doing their job! Who does that!” “… everyone?? That’s normal behaviour?”)

      1. Gumby*

        I don’t think of thanking bus drivers as thanking them for doing their job, I think of it as trying to balance the scales for the really rude passengers that I have reason to believe they see every day.

        1. Mimi*

          Same. In that kind of job I always figure that tossing someone a quick smile and a “Thanks!” (or “Have a good one!”) means they’ll get at least 10 seconds of pleasant interaction in a day, lol.

        2. Mary*

          I don’t think it’s weird to thank someone for doing their job! I say thanks to people in shops and cafes and restaurants all the time. Students say thanks to me. Since when does the fact that someone is doing their job mean you don’t thank them?!

          1. Kiwi with laser beams*

            THIS, EXACTLY! I’m not going to shame someone who doesn’t automatically know that we thank bus drivers in New Zealand, but it seems weird to actively argue against thanking them. I wonder if the Londoners Forrest encountered are feeling defensive or something – I know that certain discussions about certain cultural customs push my buttons a lot because there’s a lot of good person/bad person talk while in my case the problem was that I just didn’t know that custom at first.

            1. londonedit*

              As a Londoner, I can confirm that plenty of people say thank you to the bus drivers here! Part of the reason why people might not is that on a double-decker London bus you get off via the middle doors, rather than walking past the driver to exit through the front door. So it can feel weird to yell ‘Thank you!’ half the way along a busy bus. But people still do it. If I’m on one of our single-decker buses where you do pass the driver to get off, I always say thank you as I pass. And yes, I think we sometimes can get defensive because the ‘All Londoners are rude and nasty and don’t talk to anyone’ trope gets a bit wearing.

        3. WellRed*

          Yes! Also, kind of another way of saying “Have a nice day!” or just seeing that there is a person there,

        4. NotAnotherManager!*

          Oh, goodness, yes. I saw so much rude behavior on the part of passengers when I took the bus that a “thanks and have a good day/evening!” seemed like the least I could muster for the person driving me home through DC rush hour traffic.

      2. HelloHello*

        heh, I live in a big city in the US and always thank the drivers when I get off the bus. It’s not something I commonly seem done, but a quick thanks as I leave seems nicer than just ignoring them (and saying “bye” or something would feel very weird.)

      3. Tisma*

        Late reading this.

        As the offspring of a Londoner, and as someone who grew up in the South, with my other parent being a ‘southener’, I was taught by both, to say ‘thank you’ to bus drivers and basically everyone.

        I still say ‘thank you’ to anyone and everything…. dvd player for example giving me back the disc. *blush.*

        Though I only save effusive thanks / praise for things that really warrant it. Anything else IMO is too much and can lessen the impact of that effusive thanks / praise.

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        Especially if you accidentally read it as “especially foxy”.

  8. Anon For This*

    If you praise too often, or for people just doing their jobs, it loses all meaning. My boss spends about 1/2 of our weekly staff meeting thanking/praising people. Once in a while someone really did go above and beyond, and the mention was merited, but usually it is just a list of things various people did that week – essentially their jobs. And more than once someone has been hurt/wondered if they ticked off the boss somehow, because they weren’t thanked/praised for whatever they did that week. It has gotten rather irritating and is a waste of time. (Note: true praise/thanks is always worth the time. This show of thanking is not.)

  9. Nesprin*

    I’d emphasize specificity and followup vs. effusive praise
    -you did great!
    is a lot different from
    -you did a great job on X, despite challenges A, B and C, and important boss 1 mentioned how impressed she was, + tracking and using on your performance evaluation to increase pay/title.

  10. Lana Kane*

    Alison’s reply gave me something to think about. I am a thanker, and while I don’t feel it’s something I go overboard with, I like the distinction between thanks and feedback. They’re not the same, although sometimes it can seem like they are (or at least, that thanks encompass feedback). I’m going to work on thinking about that distinction when I’m about to fire off a thank you.

  11. Megumin*

    The feedback part is really important. My former boss would praise me and my team quite often, but he never provided actually feedback on anything. Including performance reviews – there was nothing specific on there. It was like pulling teeth to get him to actually say something concrete and actionable (for basically anything, not just performance). He would make elaborates shows in meeting with other departments about how he was “such a stupid boss” and had “such wonderful, smart employees”, like that was the best gift he could ever give us. And I guess he loved receiving that kind of praise, so that’s why he gave it out. But the most frustrating part was that if an issue popped up, he’d do a 180 and freak out and criticize us, and basically just be in panic mode until we resolved the issue.

    It made all of us seriously doubt ourselves, especially our most conscientious team members (because imposter syndrome!). We had no external validation from him that we were improving, meeting our goals, etc. I could get that validation from our work output, sure, but often it felt like we were just overwhelmed and always failing. That really messed me up when I was job searching – I was convinced I couldn’t ever handle other jobs, even ones that I was 100% qualified for.

  12. Grateful*

    My boss never praises me or say thank you or anything even remotely related, but she gives me tons of flexibility and autonomy and advocates for bonuses and raises for me with the Board, so we’re cool.

    1. Megumin*

      That’s great! My current boss is like that…he’s not very outward with his emotions so while he does thank people and give credit, he doesn’t praise that often. But he has gotten me a promotion and increased my salary by about 30% since I’ve been working here, so that’s really all the praise I need. (Plus he actually gives me concrete feedback so I can improve.)

  13. Blanche*

    My current boss has struck a good balance of thanks vs. praise with me, I think. I am the kind of person who is relationship-oriented and likes a lot of praise, whereas my boss is much more task-oriented. But she is really good about giving me positive feedback commensurate with the tasks I’ve completed. Examples:

    1. Finished a report that we have to do every few weeks. “Thanks, this looks good.”
    2. Did a deep dive into a legal research question. “Thank you so much for figuring this out!”
    3. Met with a client who yelled at me until they cried. *buys me a coffee the next day and tells our team how I stayed calm even with Client from Hell*

    All of that works for me! I am a much more effusive person because I’m a former kindergarten teacher, but if my boss was more effusive because she thought I needed that to survive, I would feel condescended to. Communication is key but it only took us a few months to figure out what worked best for both of us.

  14. OtterB*

    Agree that specifics of praise/feedback vs. gratitude matter. Also, it’s person-specific; sometimes the public praise Sam would love, Chris would hate; Chris would much rather have a quiet word in private.

    Also, it’s true that thanking someone effusively for completing the monthly report that is part of their job seems off, but occasional recognition along the lines of “I can rely on you to be on time with well-prepared reports, and I appreciate that.” Alison sometimes talks about negative feedback needing to take into account the pattern and not just the specific incident. Maybe positive feedback can need to do the same.

  15. Fikly*

    This is great advice.

    It’s really weird to thank someone for doing their job – everyone should be doing their job. Feedback on what they did that was super helpful, on the other hand, is very useful, because then they know to do that again, and also, it feels good to know that x was done well, as opposed to just, I’m glad you did x.

    1. Mary*

      Is it really weird to thank someone for doing their job? I get thanked all the time at work, and I thank people who are working with me or in a situation where I’m a customer all the time. My kids are 2 and 5 and they thank me for doing things for them! I don’t think the fact that someone is doing their job is a reason to withhold thanks.

      1. Kiwi with laser beams*

        Yeah, I mean, there’s such a thing as being too effusive about it, and other commenters have given good examples of that, but a short, basic “thanks” seems pretty standard to me.

      2. Cheerfully Polite Grey Rock*

        I think there is a difference between a quick “Thanks!”, which is considered normal and polite, and a specific “Thank you for ordering more paperclips / completing that report / other task that is absolutely part of their normal work”.
        The former feels like a generic “I acknowledge and appreciate you doing your job, fellow human”, but the latter feels a bit more condescending, like “Wow, look at you doing the thing that is a core part of your job and you’ve been doing for years, go you!” Personally my response to the latter would be to wonder why that person thinks such a routine task requires such effusive praise.
        However, if someone goes above and beyond their usual tasks (for example, going out of their way to help another team get their llamas groomed ahead of a big deadline when they’re usually used to just getting the harnesses ready), then that is absolutely deserving of specific praise.
        It seems like the issue is that the level of gratitude does not seem to match the level of effort or the situation, so it is coming across oddly.

      3. allathian*

        Thanks for everyday exchanges is what makes living in a polite society so pleasant. You’ve done your part in raising polite human beings if your kids thank you for doing things for them. I get thanks at work all the time and I’m glad I do. But I get praise only when I’ve gone above and beyond expectations, and that’s just as it should be.

  16. Circe*

    I used to have a boss that would thank me for literally the most mundane aspects of my job. It was too much and condescending and it was a struggle not to reply, in my best Don Draper voice, THAT’S WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR. Big surprise, they were also not a great boss!

    I have a boss now who I think strikes the right balance of feedback and appreciation. I think what they get right is that they are often paired, and often in response to instances where I’ve gone above and beyond expectations or handled something particularly challenging or frustrating. It’s not, “thanks for printing an agenda for our meeting,” but, “thanks for handling that difficult client. You’re always good at keeping your cool when they keep contradicting themselves.” Even in the instances where it’s, “thanks for printing the agenda,” its usually something like, “thanks for printing the agenda. I always forget we can’t keep the VP on schedule without one” and not, “thanks for doing the absolute bare minimum expected to continue receiving a paycheck.”

  17. Manager-ish*

    As a brand new manager(*ish) and I am going to write this on my forehead or bookmark this page or both! I am a very thank-y person and need to remind myself that thanks is not feedback. Specific feedback about what you did well – with a thanks if it fits – needs to be my goal.

    (*ish – the way work is done is more of a team lead/team member thing, I still do a ton of technical work, and the sole other employee does very similar work, but I am his direct manager and also a department director… small company, long story… but it’s not a totally typical managerial role, thankfully. I’m an individual contributor at heart and hope to return to that role when it fits)

  18. Sharon*

    For recognition to be effective, it needs to be tailored to the employee being recognized. People generally want to be recognized for things they worked hard on and find recognition tied to things they didn’t put a lot of effort into weird or even condescending (the difference between “you worked nights and weekends to get this project done on time” and “you showed up for all of your scheduled shifts this week”.)

    Effective recognition also takes info account the employee’s preferences. Some people hate lucite awards and having attention drawn to them in a meeting, but would love a cup of coffee, a quiet thank you, or being allowed to go home early on a Friday. Others feel very left out if recognition is not public.

  19. yala*

    I mean, I think praise is better than no praise. Otherwise, you basically only call attention to their work when they do something wrong, which, let me tell you–heckin’ demoralizing. (Also, super-anxiety inducing if you’re already prone to it. The only way you have to know you did anything, even something you’re new and unsure of, correctly is if you get NO feedback)

  20. HelloHello*

    In my mind there’s a difference between saying “thank you” as an acknowledgement of receipt or a polite way of ending a request, vs. specifically using it as praise for a job well done. I wonder if the letter writer is doing the former or the latter in this case. If the workers are bristling at requests ending with a “thanks” or at getting a quick “thank you” in response when they turn in an assignment, that’s a much different issue than if the letter writer is effusively praising work that’s part of the every day operations.

  21. Keymaster of Gozer*

    If you issue praise all the time regardless of whether it is a praiseworthy job or not it becomes as meaningless as if you reprimanded someone all the time regardless of if they’d messed up or not.

    There’s a big difference though between saying ‘thanks mate’ to the IT person who reset your password, and singing their praises publicly when they do so.

    Likewise, it’s more appropriate to give real effusive thanks to the IT person who just spent long hours ripping apart the code in your system to finally fix that one weird error that keeps crashing your machine when you sneeze on Thursdays.

    TL:DR: there are different levels for different situations, not one for everything.

  22. OP*

    I’m the one who wrote this letter five years ago. I was a new manager with a new team and learning the domain. This reply back then helped me in many ways:
    – I separated thanks from feedback and praise and realized I was thinking about them altogether at one bundle. Alison crystalized the differences for me so I was able to separate a simple thank from praise for major effort and giving feedback on why I found something helpful.
    – As learned more about the team and became more comfortable, I was able to practice the differences and see the appreciation for the specifics, which encouraged me to do that more.
    – The team was made up of two cultures, each had their own method of fairness. One culture felt they were banding together to do a common job and that teamwork was how they achieved that; they succeeded as a team, not as individuals. The other culture expected public thank yous for individual achievement. Team meetings were uncomfortable because of the difference. I was trying to find a way to balance the two, which took time. I wound up changing the way I gave feedback in 1:1s so that I could focus on the person which helped shift sensibilities and find that balance.
    – I left that team and that company a while ago, but I took with me the sense of giving feedback up and down, not just down. I started giving tanks and feedback to my leaders, positive and constructive, and that gave me a larger role in determining my work and expectations and fostering a partnership with my leaders.

    That was a lot. Thanks for answering my letter, Alison, and for republishing.

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