The Forgotten Power of a Handwritten Note

Have you ever received a handwritten note in the mail or had one come across your desk?  There is something so special and personal about knowing someone has taken time out of their day to acknowledge you in some way.

Benefits of a Handwritten Note

Here at Centennial, we put a lot of emphasis on showing appreciation.  It is well known that employees perform better when they know their work is noticed and valued.  Additionally, people are not eager to leave an organization when they feel appreciated.  According to a Harris poll, working Americans who experienced high levels of recognition are more likely to stay with their current employer three years or longer.

In addition to boosting your day, a handwritten note can also have remarkable benefits in the business world.  Brennan Scanlon, Executive Director of Business Network International (“BNI”) writes in his book, Avoiding the Networking Disconnect, of a time he received a handwritten thank you note which began a close and very fruitful relationship with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

Noted author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”  So where do you start and how do you achieve greatness?

Remember NOTES When Writing a Handwritten Note

Here are some tips for writing an outstanding handwritten note using our “NOTES” tips:

  1. Address the receiver by Name – In our age of digital correspondence addressing a text or email by name has fallen by the wayside, but in a handwritten note it still reigns supreme. If it is an informal note, use their first name.
  2. Don’t just state the Obvious – Start with a blanket statement like, “Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you,” or “Congratulations on your recent award.” Then, in your second and third sentences, state something more personal to your relationship.  The recipient will remember your note far longer if they know you went beyond the obvious accolades.
  3. Write the way you Talk – don’t worry about sounding overly formal, concentrate more on making your note personal and meaningful.
  4. Everyone loves a note – who in your life could use a handwritten note? Your boss after you have gotten a raise?  A relative after sending you a gift?  A business associate after receiving a well-deserved reward?  A friend after the loss of a loved one?  Have you seen a familiar name in the newspaper lately that you could send an acknowledgement?  Think outside the box!  Notes are a quick way to both keep in touch and keep your network thriving.
  5. Use proper Spelling – maybe you need to draft it out on your computer first, but good spelling is a must!

A handwritten note is a meaningful way to acknowledge those in your circle of influence, show appreciation, and build your network.  Consider who you could send a note to today!

“I consider it a good rule for letter-writing to leave unmentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new.” – Sigmund Freud

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