Creativity. Focus. Follow-through.
A nephew and niece of mine, siblings, celebrated birthdays this week on Monday and Wednesday, and I sent them a wonderful new book I had run across called This Moose Belongs to Me as a gift. It wasn’t meant to be anything big or exciting; just something to let them know that I was thinking of them on their special days. I got this card in the mail Wednesday, likely before Ella had even blown out her birthday candles:
Can I just tell you how good that simple little note made me feel? I am impressed and grateful that their mom is teaching them at such a young age the gracious art of the thank you note.
Bloomberg Blog recently published a post entitled Handwritten Notes Are a Rare Commodity. They’re Also More Important Than Ever. In reading it in its entirely, I couldn’t agree more. Thank you notes aren’t difficult to write, but they require an investment in card, stamp, and time that we are unaccustomed to in this digital world of ours. The take-away here is, when someone takes the time write a thank you note – by hand – the result can create far more impact than one might imagine.
Arguments against handwriting thank you notes can be broken down into three statements:
“I have horrible handwriting.”
Let’s look at my example: Ella just turned five, and she can write her name. Pretty awesome handwriting there, I’d say. When you write a thank you note for personal reasons, the handwriting shouldn’t matter in the least – you are expressing “thanks.” Try to make it legible, but don’t stress if your letters don’t flow together like a 3rd grade teacher’s. For thank you notes of a professional or business nature, you have a couple of options – hand-write them yourself or type up the text and have someone else with lovely handwriting pen them for you.
Faking it is not OK. Do not format your text using a “script” font and run your card through a printer. Don’t do it. Ever. Never. That being said, I often draft my notes on my computer, for two reasons: first, I can get it worded correctly and avoid making mistakes on my final note; and second, I then have a record of the who, what, and when for each note written.
I have somewhat distinctive handwriting, and people have commented to me more than once, “If I could write like that, I might actually get my thank you notes written!” Let me tell you here and now, your handwriting is not what your receiver is concerned with! The fact that you took the time and effort to write something by hand in an era when everything is done electronically will speak volumes.
“I don’t have time.”
Really? A proper thank you card can be written and in the mail in less than ten minutes. You don’t need to write a tome, just a simple, sincere note of thanks.
“I don’t know what to write.”
I’m going to help you with that. Tune in next time for Thank You Notes: The Five Basic Elements
Finally, is it necessary to send a note through snail mail for every gift, gathering or professional courtesy? Of course not. But a well-worded note can have a powerful influence if sent to the right person at the right time. (Consider that this post would never have been written had Liam and Ella, and their Mommy, taken a few minutes to send off their little note.) If a child’s note can have that kind of impact, think what a carefully focused hand-written note might mean for your business and client relationships? Hmmm…
How do Thank You notes impact you or your business?