During that fastest time of year—the sprint between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—we need to be prepared for a lot of thank yous. We receive visits, eat wonderful food, get gifts, attend parties, do good deeds, and thank yous are in hearty supply. There is a saying that seeing is believing...but saying? Instead of saying or texting or emailing, respond with something more lasting. Write a thank you note. Spill some ink. Write it by hand. Sign it, seal it, stamp it, send it.
Address Our Need to be Appreciated
Everybody agrees. Agreement reigns from how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people guru Dale Carnegie, to in-search-of-excellence expert Tom Peters. Peters, who many years after writing an article for Success magazine that listed 30 rules on making an impact, said,
Every list of 30, by definition, has got something that comes in first. And the one that I chose for first place is one that I would choose for first place all these years later. And it was: Don’t forget your thank you notes.
Peters cites no less an authority than the great American psychologist/philosopher William James, who said, “The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.”
The cost is minimal in time and money. The risk is minimal. Can you go wrong? I’d suggest that misspelled names, followed by misspelled words, illegible handwriting, incorrect addresses, or a lengthy delay would detract from the benefit. Otherwise, you are good to go. Write it. Sign it, seal it, stamp it, send it.
In business, you don’t ever need to tell a potential client that you are responsive. You’ve shown it.
You demonstrated appreciation, even for the little things we often take for granted.
Your response, in as little as a two- or three-line note, will be de-facto memorable, simply because it’s unexpected. So few do so little. And thus, your note is more noteworthy.
A thank you note is personal. No need to worry about writer’s block. Keep it specific. Then write it. Sign it, seal it, stamp it, send it.
I appreciate your taking the time to read this blog post. Your comments mean a lot to me.