Say thanks

Who still has a thank you note someone gave you a long time ago?

When I ask this question in my positivity talks, most people in the room raise their hands.

Who has sent or received a thank you note recently?

Most of the hands come down.

Please join me in reviving the fading art of the thank you note.

Thank you notes make everyone involved feel good. If you're the writer, you have the opportunity to put into writing why you're thankful for someone and to know it will give that person a lift. When you are writing the note instead of verbally telling someone what you're thankful for, you get the chance to organize your thoughts and put them out there without interruption. If you're the recipient, you appreciate that someone took the time to recognize you and you get a lift. And chances are, you'll save that thank you note for a while.

At my day job, my team conducts exit interviews with people who have left their jobs, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Many times we will hear about how much a hand-written note from a supervisor (or higher-up in the company) meant. They hold onto them for a long time.

And I've been in the offices of people to whom I've sent a nice note, and I'll often see that they have my note up on a bulletin board or displayed on a shelf, even years later. Thank you notes matter.

So why don't we send more of them? People say they don't have time, don't have cards, don't have stamps, don't have addresses, or don't know what to say. It's also more common these days to send thanks via text or email, but those can't as easily be saved and displayed. And because handwritten notes are fewer and farther between, they're even more likely to be appreciated.

So do yourself a favor and buy a pack of thank you notes and stamps. Make sure you have easy access to addresses in a book, on your computer or in your phone. And start small if it feels overwhelming; there is no minimum length requirement for a thank you note. Although a long note is lovely, often two sentences will suffice. Mention what you're thanking them for and why it matters.

  • Thank you for taking care of that last-minute client request. You really went above and beyond to make Mr. Smith happy and I really appreciate it.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to make and drop off a meal while I was sick. The lasagna was delicious and it felt good to know you cared.

  • Thanks for all the work you did to make our event a success. I am so grateful for the effort you put in to make sure every detail was taken care of.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts. It means a lot to me when you tell me one of the posts is particularly meaningful to you or you have shared something you read with a friend! It helps me know spending the time and effort is worthwhile.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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