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What To Write in a Sympathy Card to a Boss

Updated March 16, 2017

Merely because your relationship with your boss is professional by definition does not mean that you are prohibited from taking an appropriate personal interest in her well-being. For example, if one of your boss's loved ones dies, you certainly can extend your sympathy and concern through a card. But there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when writing a sympathy card to a boss.

Proper Card

In expressing written sympathy to your boss, a crucial preliminary step is that you select an appropriate card. The selection of sympathy cards available on the market necessarily, however, is rather limited. The two major classification of cards are religious and more secular.

Because of the nature of the workplace, the appropriate choice is to select a sympathy card that does not have a religious theme. There are exceptions to this suggestion (e.g., if you attend the same place of worship as your boss). However, in order to avoid any suggestion of impropriety, stick with a basic sympathy card lacking religious themes.

Simple Statements

An often used directive in a professional or workplace setting is "keep it simple." The same holds true when writing a sympathy card for your boss. Do not draft anything lengthy or elaborate. Convey directly and honestly your sympathy for your boss's loss.

Boundaries

The fact that your boss lost someone important in his life does not lift the professional boundaries that exist in the workplace. While you do not need to sound like you are dictating a work-related memo, you must avoid an intimacy that does not exist and suggests a closeness that generally is not appropriate between a boss and an employee.

Deceased

If you happen to know the deceased (for example, if your boss's spouse died), you appropriately should make some specific comments about the individual. Again, do not be elaborate or lengthy. Write a remark about a particular attribute that you admired in the person who passed on, but avoid listing every good quality. Simplicity and sincerity are most appropriate in this context.

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About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.