I read an inspiring article, How a Simple Thank You Can Make a Difference in The Globe and Mail written by Sharon Kofed and it made me smile. Sharon teaches business English to international students. Because of the profound impact of personal notes she’s sent, she decided to incorporate the art of writing thank you notes into her class.
Her students are from many different cultures and some were not even familiar with the concept of writing thank you notes. So she assigned them some homework, writing a personal note, a letter of appreciation to someone they needed to acknowledge. She was blown away with their response.
One student had written her mother a note to thank her for taking menial jobs so she could go to university and have a better life than her mother had. When her mom read the note, she burst into tears because she realized her sacrifice had not gone unnoticed by her daughter. (Click to read more surprising results from their notes in the touching article)
A module in our business etiquette training and networking seminars focuses on the importance writing thank you notes to nurture and add value to your personal and professional relationships. Most seminar attendees want to know if an email would suffice.
Sending an email note is okay, but do you want your appreciation to be just okay? You want it to be memorable. Sending handwritten personal notes is so rare that when we receive them we appreciate them and tend to keep them forever. While sending a note via email isn’t wrong, it doesn’t have the same impact or longevity of an old school handwritten personal note.
I once sent a client a thank you note after successfully completing a project. Six months later, the client invited me back to discuss another project. Guess what? After six months my card was still sitting on his credenza. You can’t do that with an email.
Recently, a coaching client sent me a handwritten card to thank me for working with her and boosting her confidence. She said the experience not only contributed to her career advancement but to her personal life as well. She felt good and now so did I. That card has a special place on my desk.
Who do you need to recognize by sending a hand written note? Have you sent or received a note that lifted your spirits? We’d love to hear your stories.