Whatever you’re doing now, do this next — get your pen, place it to paper, and write a thank you note to a colleague, customer, supplier, or friend that deserves one. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be eloquent, it just needs to happen.

Personal notes of thanks are probably the most powerful thing you can do as a person in a relationship. The goodwill represented by taking the time and personal care to write a note is incredible.

You can call someone, send them an email, even stop by and say thanks, but there’s something special about holding a hand written note of appreciation in your hands. If you ever receive done, you’ll never forget it.

Here are a 8 tips on writing great personal notes:

  • Don’t make them too long. Short, direct, and to the point is preferred. It doesn’t take 1000 words to express your appreciation.
  • Be sincere. Don’t over state your thanks, stay sincere and choose the words that best represent how you feel.
  • Let the person know why you’re appreciative. If you’re saying Thank You, let the person know why. Did they save you time, create an opportunity, save you from pending disaster, provide the reference you needed? Let them know the impact their action had on you.
  • Don’t sweat the stationary. Don’t worry if you don’t have monogrammed or company branded stationary to send your note of thanks. It doesn’t matter. If you have personalized stationary, great! If you don’t, push on. Buy some inexpensive blank cards and get to writing. Plain is best.
  • Use ink. Don’t write with a pencil or a crayon. I prefer black ink. Blue is okay, but nothing more.
  • Don’t make a sales pitch. Remember, you’re thanking someone and being sincere, don’t cheapen it by making a sales pitch.
  • Don’t ask for anything. Related to the tip above, don’t ask the person you’re thanking for another favor. It’s poor taste to ask for something when thanking them. And it tosses sincerity out the window.
  • Make it part of your routine. It doesn’t take long to write a few words of thanks. Set aside 15 minutes a week to send a short note of appreciation to someone who earned it.

There are 8 tips to get you started. What would you add as the 9th tip?

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