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At work we have a tool, which you can use to send coworkers an appreciation, basically sending them a message that expresses what you appreciate and a text field to enter a message why you send this appreciation. Generally, a really nice tool to make each other feel their work being valued.

Now I got this morning such an appreciation from a coworker at our office in India (myself being at a central European location), praising me heavily for my professionalism and how they perceive my great work and... Such a long message with so many lovely words. Made me have a really great start in the day.

I had over the course of the last year with that coworker a training together like once to twice each month over a course of a few hours each(we are overall just 6 people in the training). I myself was very engaged in these training sessions and since the words being used were very personal in regards to my attitude in these training sessions I feel like it took them even quite some time wording it.

I would like to return this appreciation, but sadly I am neither really good in noticing strengths of others nor did that specific coworker talk that often, that I could write something personal in return.

Now I wonder, given that I regularly have interactions with coworkers from our India location, I already realized that their culture is much more about being kind and friendly, and they do a lot of praising (which I suspect sometimes isn't even meant as nice as it is being said) just to be polite.

And either way, it was a really nice gesture, which I want to give a corresponding response. But I am not sure if such a niceness, given the cultural background, might have a specific expectation of what I have to do in response.

So my question is:

Would it be enough to just expressively point out how much I appreciated it and that I am thankful, via email, or might something else be expected (for cultural reasons) so I won't be considered ingrate?

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Like you, I also have difficulty with these things. It is sometimes quite agonizing to write these endorsements. I have some thought that may help you in finding the answer. I am in the Western United States and our culture is probably different. You can decide if these are adequate, or need some adjustments for the 2 cultures (Europe vs. India).

Recognize how you FEEL about the recognition:

Made me have a really great start in the day.

That is a great thing to respond with. Put that in your reply.
Was this a surprise to you? Say that (or something like that).
Say Thank You.
This does not have to be a long letter, just succinct.

Most importantly, (and this sounds weird), FEEL delighted when you write the reply. It will come through.
Ex:

Hello [name]: What a surprise to see your glowing recommendation of me. That made my whole day. I feel honored to be working with someone like. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Very simple and heart felt. $0.02

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