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The Importance of Thank You

The thank-you note can be a powerful tool in your social and business life. Anytime you have an opportunity to thank someone, take advantage!

Even in our instant-gratification lifestyles where texts, emails, and tweets replace conversations, the thank-you note is more important than ever. It is the belief of some that an email thank-you note is just as appropriate as a handwritten note. However, I contend that it is not.

Extending ourselves to others is part of human nature. We love to treat, surprise, and gift our family, friends, and colleagues. Bringing joy to others reaps so many emotional benefits. It makes our hearts happy.

Everyone is consumed with finding more time. For many of us an extra hour is so elusive. Whenever someone uses their time or resources to have a positive effect in your life, an acknowledgement is always due.

A handwritten, mailed thank-you note closes the deal between the gift giver and the receiver. A thank-you note lets the giver know you have received, appreciated, and benefited from the gift.

The thank-you note should be composed with thought, handwritten on appropriate stationery, and mailed. Sure, it takes more time. Yes, the recipient may use email, and you did say “thank you” when they presented the gift. Yet I say, “Go the extra step.” Demonstrate your understanding of the importance of gratitude. Taking the time to handwrite a thank-you note is an investment in the relationship. It shows the giver that you appreciate and are grateful for their gift.

When should you send a thank-you note?  Anytime someone extends themselves to you and it impacts you positively, thanks should be given. Always send a thank-you note for the following occasions.

  • When you receive a gift
  • After a job interview
  • After a college admissions interview
  • When someone does something for you personally or professionally (provides lunch, hosts a party, gives you event tickets)
  • When you make a new professional contact

The thank-you note only needs to be five to six sentences long. It should be on stationery or a blank note card. Include the following steps in your thank-you note writing:

  • Begin with a greeting.
  • Express appreciation for the gift.
  • Describe the gift.
  • Describe how you plan to use the gift and the event in which it will be used.
  • Mention a connection.
  • Express thanks again.
  • End with an appropriate closing and signature.

Take the time to send a thank-you note and complete the circle of gratitude. Acknowledge and connect.

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So why are so many people lacking in an understanding of the rules? No one has ever taught them. - John J. Daly Jr