Did you know that January is National Thank You Month? When I first learned this, my instinctual reaction was, “do we really need to be nudged to express our gratitude by some know-it-all social media expert?” Yet, in spite of my own skepticism, I immediately started thinking of when I last took the time to say thank you to someone. Remarkably, it had been quite some time. And what was most surprising to me was that it was not because I have not been feeling thankful, but I realized it was simply because I had not made time to dedicate to this important task.
While conventional wisdom tells us that we should always say thank you, whether to a friend, a colleague, a client, an employee or a prospective employer, we don’t often realize the importance of doing this. And of doing it the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper! So armed with thank-you cards and pen, I began my exercise in gratitude and started writing my thank-you notes! While at first I was a bit rusty, as I focused on each note and its recipient, I found myself effortlessly expressing my thanks.
Most importantly, I became certain that my taking time to do this was not only benefitting the recipients of my thanks, but it was actually boosting my own well-being. I would like to share with you some tips I learned as I perfected this process. Whether you are thanking a friend for a gift, a client after a meeting, a potential employer after an interview, or a colleague for something special they did, I found these 5 simple rules to be very helpful:
1. Be precise
Mention the specific reasons why you are thankful—for a gift, say why it was special and how you plan to use it, for a meeting or interview, say what impressed you about it, how it added a fresh perspective or understanding of a specific need a client or employer may have.
2. Be concise
Keep it simple and eloquent, make sure your expressions are grammatically correct and express your thoughts clearly.
3. Be personal
Start with a salutation addressing the person by name, either by first name or last name (follow proper etiquette).
4. Be heartfelt
Let them know the importance of what they did, be spontaneous and sincere.
5. Be silly, or serious, but above all be yourself
If writing to a friend, don’t be afraid to let your silly side show. Be more formal of course with a client or potential employer. And don’t be concerned if your penmanship is not impeccable, if you focus on the right message, your thank-you note is sure to make a great impression and be appreciated.
So don’t delay, Beware of Thank You month, and express your gratitude today!