Saturday, April 07, 2012

How to Remember to Write Thank You Notes

In the last post, you heard Tom Peters talk about the importance of “thank you” notes. As you read it, you may agree with the sentiment. Yet in our busy day-to-day lives, we may not think about it. At least, we don’t think about it when we are seated with a blank note card in front of us!

Let’s change all of that. Let’s structure a system where we do think about it. Furthermore, let’s structure a system which causes us to think about it at a time when we are sitting down with a blank note card in front of us. It does not get any more convenient than that!

This idea actually came from a workshop participant. As we talked about tickler files and their various uses, this participant raised her hand. She explained that she had been using tickler files for some time. Like many of us, she wanted to get better about writing thank-you notes. Like many of us, it just never happened.

One January day, she took 52 blank note cards, one for each week of the year. She scattered them through her tickler files. She had structured a system that caused a blank note card to pop up once each week. That was her trigger…her trigger to stop and use that blank note card to thank somebody for something.

She was already sitting down at her desk. She had the note card in front of her. Now, all she had to do was write the note.

I suspect people began to think of her as more thoughtful, more appreciative. Actually, she was just as thoughtful and appreciative to start with. All she needed was a system which helped her let those qualities show.

If it worked for her, maybe it could work for others.
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