The Lost Art of the Thank You Note: Give Honest, Sincere Appreciation

January 5, 2012
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Have you written your holiday thank you cards yet? If not, it’s time to get moving on them! Writing a sincere thank you note is one of the professional skills that can make a lasting favorable impression. People like being appreciated. One of Dale Carnegie’s fundamental human relation principles is “Give honest, sincere appreciation.” When writing a thank you note, use a plain, small card. However, the card is not as important as the effort, so if paper is all that is available, write the note anyway! Use this 6-step formula from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area as a sure-fire method of expressing appreciation in a written note.

1. Greet the GiverDear Mr. and Mrs. Smith OR Dear Jamie. It seems like an obvious point, yet many people will begin a note with “Hi” or even omit the greeting.

2. Express GratitudeThank you so much for the book. The key is to keep it simple and specific. The point of writing the note is to create an expression of a heartfelt sentiment.

3. Discuss Use — I started to read the book immediately and have found many great ideas already. People like to know that you found their gesture or gift valuable. Sharing how you are using the item or idea makes their effort more meaningful.

4. Another Thank You — Thank them again for the gift. It’s not excessive to say thanks again.

5. Complimentary Close — Wrap it up with a close that expresses your final thought: Regards, All the Best, Sincerely, Gratefully, etc. Then sign your name.

6. Send It — Even if your colleagues and acquaintances are not of the note-writing variety, be the one who sets the precedent.

It is the mark of a true professional to become skilled at writing thank you notes in this age of email, voicemail, and text messaging. Demonstrating business professionalism is not difficult; it just takes effort and focus. Applying simple aspects of business etiquette goes a long way in establishing our professionalism, which builds our confidence and comfort in business settings.

For more information on developing human relations skills consider attending one of our upcoming “Effective Communications & Human Relations/Skills For Success” courses.

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: northshorekid.com

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