With Gratitude: the Power of Thank You

Image of a hand holding several stamped letters in front of a US Post Office box.

I have a confession to make: I love writing thank you notes.

When you get a genuine “thank you” note from your manager or peer (or as I clearly recall, the CEO), it makes an indelible impression.

With respect to Erin White (ironically, their Bureau Chief for – gasp – Personal Health and Wellness!) at The Wall Street Journal today, ( I disagree that “it’s time to send the handwritten thank-you note the way of the horse and buggy.” (Perhaps one secret to happiness: lower your expectations and the credence you place in advice from those looking for a provocative headline. 😉

Writing thank you notes may be seen by some as a waste of time and energy, and they’re on to something, given that some notes are often insincere, formulaic, and ineffective. Others may think that thank you notes are outdated and irrelevant in the digital age, and don’t reflect the true value of the recipient’s action, gift, or your relationship.

As TEDx speaker and author Christopher Littlefield shares in his HBR article, How to Write a Meaningful Thank You Note, a thank you note should include specific details about the gift or gesture, explain why it was meaningful, and how it made us feel. All of these elements can make your thank you note more authentic and memorable, which can create a greater and lasting impression on the recipient.

Sending a personal note isn’t just polite and respectful, it’s also a thoughtful way that can add to our personal well-being and happiness. Personally, I’ve found that thank you notes can be meaningful and important ways of showing appreciation and recognition – and they don’t have to be lengthy War and Peace diatribes: a quick letter of appreciation can provide benefits for both you and the recipient. And did you know that writing thank you notes has personal benefits, helping make you happier, healthier, and more successful?

Remember, writing thank you notes is a valuable and meaningful investment in your relationships as well as yourself. They can adapt and evolve with the changing times and needs. So, don’t be done with thank you notes. Genuine thank you notes are personal ways to express your appreciation and gratitude beneficial and rewarding, and timeless and relevant, and how to write them effectively. Embrace and enjoy the time you take to reflect and write them to those you appreciate, with gratitude (thanks, Amy).

And thank you for reading.

(Originally posted on LinkedIn)