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The Lost Art of the Thank You Note: Give Honest, Sincere Appreciation

by Caug124

April 22nd, 2010
4
Comments

Writing a sincere thank you note is one of the professional skills that can make a lasting favorable impression. People like being appreciated. One of Dale Carnegie’s fundamental human relation principles is “Give honest, sincere appreciation.” When writing a thank you note, use a plain, small card. However, the card is not as important as the effort, so if paper is all that is available, write the note anyway! Use this 6-step formula as a sure-fire method of expressing appreciation in a written note.

1. Greet the Giver: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith OR Dear Jamie. It seems like an obvious point, yet many people will begin a note with “Hi” or even omit the greeting.

2. Express Gratitude: Thank you so much for the book. The key is to keep it simple and specific. The point of writing the note is to create an expression of a heartfelt sentiment.

3. Discuss Use: I started to read the book immediately and have found many great ideas already. People like to know that you found their gesture or gift valuable. Sharing how you are using the item or idea makes their effort more meaningful.

4. Another Thank You: Thank them again for the gift. It’s not excessive to say thanks again.

5. Complimentary Close: Wrap it up with a close that expresses your final thought: Regards, All the Best, Sincerely, Gratefully, etc. Then sign your name.

6. Send It: Even if your colleagues and acquaintances are not of the note-writing variety, be the one who sets the precedent.

It is the mark of a true professional to become skilled at writing thank you notes in this age of email, voicemail, and text messaging.

Demonstrating business professionalism is not difficult; it just takes effort and focus. Applying simple aspects of business etiquette goes a long way in establishing our professionalism, which builds our confidence and comfort in business settings.

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  1. Michelinda Smith /

    In a work environment like ours, we often receive “Thank You” notes/cards. But they are meaningless if they only say thank you – and do not mention specifically what they are thanking them for. “Thank you for your input” or “Thank you for your participation” “Thank you for such and such project” tells me that you have no idea what I did or the effort I put into it. Thank you can be a great motivator – but if dished out without sincerity (or the appearance of), it is a huge DEmotivator.

  2. Michael Shaw /

    Yes I agree the appreciation must be specific, otherwise we have no idea if the appreciation is genuine. William James said “The deepest principle is the craving to be appreciated” – it is one of our most fundamental yearnings as a human being – appeciation shows that we are someone unique and special. It works for the giver and reciever if the appreciation is genuine as shown by specific evidence.

  3. Glenn /

    I have really bad handwriting, but I don’t let it stop me from writing thank yous. I first write a draft on a sheet of paper. Once I have the wording the way I want it, I copy it onto the thank you notecard focusing on legible handwriting. Because my signature is a scrawl, I use cards embossed with my name.

    When I travel, I carry six cards, envelopes, and stamps. After the visit, I write the card and try to mail it from the same city I’m in. It usually gets there the next day. Its quick arrival usually makes quite an impact.

    Glenn
    (Former Dale Instructor)

  4. Varanasi Ramprasad /

    What is described here is only really true. We have experienced this very recently while launching a high tech Pharmaceutical product to certain specialty Doctors to whom this product has not been exposed in India.

    The moment we went to the Doctors through highly qualified senior professionals after a wonderful PET and Product training session, the Doctors right from the first day of launch took up the product in all seriousness, and we followed it up with thank you card neatly written down and with a box of sweets. No doubt to say that the strategy worked very well: Especially when you know that is the first three days of launch of a new company! Right training and thank you work real wonders.