It takes less than a full sheet of paper and little more than an email to say a proper and impactful "thank you."
You've probably heard that mailing letters is an art of the past, but I beg to differ. If you have ever received a letter, you know why. The moment you see an envelope marked with your name your heart skips a beat. What could be inside? Why did they write me? What do they have to say? And when you finally read it, you're left with a warm fuzzy feeling that only a pencil and paper can bring. The extra effort of mailing a letter makes the words more meaningful.
Words are carrying less and less weight these days now that they are everywhere. It's so easy to say "thank you" or send a quick "hello" text that it starts to loose impact. But just by adding a few extra sentences onto a piece of paper could change the way that you interact with people and how they interact with you.
Hand-written notes are not just for strengthening relationships, they are a great way to impress just about anyone. After a job interview, write a note thanking that person for their time. After meeting someone new, write a note saying that it was great to meet them. These notes open doors, I know from experience.
I often write notes of gratitude, looking for nothing in return but just to say thank you. I have found these notes hanging up in their offices, displayed with pride. I even have a few of my own. My favorite one is from my Pastor, Steven Furtick. If you haven't heard of him, he's the lead pastor of Elevation Church based in Charlotte. I have been fortunate to grow up there and I have grown into the woman of God I am today because of the impact that the church has had on my life.
Upon my high school graduation, I decided to write notes to the people who played a key role in my life, one being my Pastor. I wrote him a lengthy note, even though there weren't enough words in the world to convey how much he has impacted me. I just wanted to say thank you in a real and honest way. A month later, I received a letter back. My note had made his day! And his made mine.
So who do you need to write a letter to?
Now, let me be honest, it can be hard to follow through on this. For some reason, my mind has often told me, "You don't have time for this, you don't even know if you have a stamp or a card. Do it later." And then I forget. Oops. But the times I followed through have blessed my life and others. So to follow through, here's what you need to know:
1. Always have what you need available
Go to the store and pick up a pack of cards that make you want to write. Something that fits your personality or says something about who you are. You're also going to the need the basics: stamps, envelopes, and a pen or pencil. Making sure you always have what you need will ensure that you won't make any excuses later.
2. Be looking for opportunities to write
A good place to start would be to friends and family whenever you're thinking of them or on special occasions like birthdays and other holidays. But never underestimate the power of a hand-written note for professional networking. It will always impress!
3. Write with pencil first
If this letter is important and you want the right words, do a rough draft in pencil then write in pen the final draft! And if you rely on spell check like most people, make sure to google the words you think you spelled wrong.
4. Put in the time and effort
Slow down in this fast paced world and remember that words can hold value when they come from the heart.