Recently I ran into a man whose business was corporate gifting. He pitched the value of personalized, unique, and valuable corporate gifts to me passionately and convincingly (well, it would have been convincing if he'd listened when I said I didn't have a reason to give corporate gifts).
His work and passion reminded me of a habit I have developed and found useful throughout my professional career; the habit of handwriting notes.
A handwritten note is valued in a way no other communication is.
During my years as a volunteer coordinator, I wrote dozens of Thank You notes every week. Friday afternoons were my note writing time. Each Friday when my productive hours were over (typically around 2pm), I would pull out my list of people to thank, grab a nice pen, and sit down with cards to write personalized notes to people who had helped make my job easier that week.
These cards were sent to organizations accepting my volunteers, long-time volunteers who were dedicated and consistent, staff members who helped me out, friends who dealt with my weird hours, and many more. I wrote notes to people who helped me in even minor ways.
Like the person who had a conversation with a student about balancing work and school. Or the staff member who always accomplished her tasks well ahead of the deadline. Or my coworker across the hall who brought a cup of coffee to my desk without asking.
These notes were always worth the time.
I cannot tell you how many more connections I maintained because of a simple note, nor how much harder my staff worked because they felt appreciated. Taking the time to write them showed a level of concern for their feelings they don't often encounter. And that meant the world.
And they could mean the world to the people in your life as well. Your staff. Your coworkers. Your connections. Your friends. Your family.
I challenge you to try writing just a couple of notes a week. See what the results are. I guarantee you will decide writing them is well worth your time.
How might handwritten notes affect those in your circles?