Expressing gratitude is a company value we take seriously around the GPC office. There’s tremendous significance in saying thank you to someone face-to-face (in fact we do this weekly at our company meeting!), but often it’s worth the extra time and effort to put pen to paper to say thank you in writing. The late William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Expressing gratitude is both needed and powerful. It not only connects us to those we know well, but also to the stranger who gives directions or holds the door.
So, why write a thank you note? Because writing it down is helpful. I’ve found that when I sit down to write, my mind slows down for me to think about the person, our relationship and the item/gift that I’m thankful for. It also gives the recipient something to hold on to. In our culture today, text messages and emails are often here and gone so quickly. But a handwritten letter is an encouragement and gift that the recipient can return to often. I’ve held on to thank you notes for many years that were written by former bosses, family members and friends. And if you need another reason to write a thank you note, remember it’s an opportunity to use your favorite fountain pen and ink!
When I was younger, my parents would give me the sentences to include in my thank you notes to family. It really wasn’t until my high school graduation that I had to come up with my own thoughts when writing thank you notes. My advice? Be genuine. Share something you appreciate not just about the gift, but about the person who gave it to you.
Here are some situations you may find yourself in and a few tips to help you say thank you…
1. Someone has given you a birthday, graduation or wedding gift:
Thank them for thinking of you or for coming to your party.
Let them know how you plan to use their gift.
Remind them what your relationship means to you. These sentences are often the most meaningful!
2. Someone has helped you move, pack or watched your pets while you were away:
- Thank them for their willingness to help.
- Let them know that you realize their time is valuable. Share what it meant to you that they chose to spend it helping you.
- Tell them you’d return the favor whenever needed!
3. Someone has extended their friendship to you in time of need, or you’re just feeling extra thankful for them at this particular moment:
- Thank them for their willingness to listen.
- Tell them what it means to have a friend you trust deeply.
- Let them know that you are there for them as well.
Are you in the habit of writing thank you notes? Let me know in the comments below.
Now it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t thank you for reading…
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