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The Power of Saying Thank You
by Tonja Taylor
12/31/2019 / Self Help
A simple thank you note can do more for you than thousands of dollars of advertising; it can make you unforgettable! It can forge and strengthen relationships in life-changing ways.
The art of crafting a written note has been largely eclipsed by emails, ecards, and phone calls, and even the annual friends letter sent in multiple copies to everyone on the planet. While I have used all of these mediums myself, I still gain higher physiological satisfaction from taking time and effort to personally write a thank you. To me, it is an investment in others. When we invest in others, the rewards we reap are priceless.
HOW TO WRITE A THANK YOU
Writing a thank you note is simple, fun, and powerful:
1. Express your thanks for every gift, service, and opportunity
2. Get the person's name and address right
3. Send the note within a week if possible
4. Be specific about how you've used the gift
5. Add lagniappe the delight factor -- as appropriate
FIND A REASON TO BE THANKFUL
Find reasons to send a thank you. There are more than you think. Have a thankful heart for everything another does for you. Whether you create the card yourself, create it on a computer, or buy it, remember you are using your creativity as a catalyst for positive change. You can't lose with a personal thank you. All of us want to be appreciated, and experts say that that need is much deeper than the need for money!
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT
When I was a young 20-something and opened an account at my workplace credit union, I was impressed with the sweetness of the director, and sent a simple thank you to express my gratitude. She called me and said, "I've put your thank you note on my bulletin board!"
Those few lines of thanksgiving started a friendship that has deepened over the years, and, in the roughest of times, that relationship provided me the financial bridges I needed that may not have been there otherwise.
Another time, I had the seats recovered in a car my husband and I were restoring, and I loved the job so much that I sent a thank you note to the man who covered the seats. My husband told me later that the man just gushed.
Just today, as I saw the waste removal personnel walk all the way to my house just to get my garbage cans, I thought, There's an opportunity to express gratitude where no one else possibly has! So I've written my note and will leave it for the people the next time they come!
RAISE MORALE AND ENHANCE LOYALTY IN THE WORKPLACE
I've been impressed whenever a superior or business person took the time to send a thank you to me. Not only was I surprised, which is sad, I was delighted. It makes me feel like my efforts are noticed, and encourages me to give even more. So its a subtle and beautiful way to build loyalty and respect.
STRENGTHEN FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
I have done this in many fields at many times, and always, I am remembered fondly. We all want more allies! Speaking of allies, I write notes to my most precious ones often during the week. Even if it's, "Thank you for buying groceries!" note scribbled on a napkin to my darling husband, or a "Thank you for brushing your teeth and eating your celery, Victoria!" or "Thank you for being such a dynamite girl!" to my 11-year-old daughter, those words are priceless and keep me from taking my dear ones for granted.
GET THE INFORMATION RIGHT
Be sure and get the information correct, especially the spelling of the recipient's name. Our names are precious to us, and none of us like to see them spelled incorrectly. It's also disappointing to know your efforts are wasted if the card is returned because of wrong information. You can certainly call or email the person and explain that you sent a note, but the effect will not have as much impact. And besides, you dont want to look sloppy--especially if it's a potential employer you're trying to impress, which brings me to the next point:
ALWAYS SEND A THANK YOU FOR AN INTERVIEW
Another way of impressing a potential employer is to send a thank you for the interview, which is still a rare practice, from what I hear. If you were nervous and didn't catch the employe'rs name, call back and ask the secretary or gatekeeper. I've rarely encountered reluctance to share such information. If I need to, I explain who I am and that I want to send a thank you for the interview, and there is no problem.
SEND THANK YOU NOTES WITHIN A WEEK IF POSSIBLE
Thank you notes are best sent within a week of the event, gift received, or service performed. A couple weeks or even a month later is acceptable, and always appreciated. However, I believe some of the impact is lost as time passes, because again, we all want to be appreciated and we cherish the thankfulness of others.
BE SPECIFIC ABOUT HOW YOU'VE USED THE GIFT
Thank you notes don't have to be elaborate. But being specific, by mentioning how you'll use the gift or service, and how you have benefited from it, is important. That way, the reader knows you're not just having someone else write a general thank you out of courtesy. We all know how it feels to get one of those form letters, or even worse, the advertising directed to "resident". So by personalizing the thank you note with specific information, that shows the receiver that you value what they did.
ENGAGE THE DELIGHT FACTOR
There is a Cajun term called "lagniappe," which means "something to the effect of the delight of extra." I often include additional things in my notes, such as an inspirational quote that I believe will touch the person; a smiley face or other drawing on the inside of the card itself (and sometimes the envelope); a bookmark; coupons; poems; clippings from magazines; photos; even my own business cards, if the occasion fits.
SAYING THANK YOU IS AN ART
Remember that you thank you notes are small works of art; meaningful and lasting. Even if the person doesn't keep your physical card forever (which they could; I have many treasure boxes full of such!), remember that you have forever etched the memory of that person with inexpressibly beautiful shades of love.
Love, after all, ultimatelyl comes from the true God, the God Who loves! Love is what makes the world go 'round. So show some unforgettable love today--write a thank you note--or ten!
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, through River Rain Creative Arts on You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.
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