Elsewhere on this blog, Aneil writes today about why people should thank total strangers when they receive unsolicited help, especially when they make use of help!
Update 2-29-11 (Leap Day!):
We believe that showing gratitude is so important that we devoted an entire chapter, entitled “Think Thank-You” in our first book, Trust is Everything.
Here’s the chapter, Think Thank-You.
Here’s why not sending a thank-you email message after an interview will kill your chances of being considered further.
Shortly after I wrote about this about thank-you notes, Dick Gordon of The Story (from our local NPR station, WUNC), interviewed a man who is on a quest to make e-mail thank-you’s more acceptable. I heard this interview one night on my way back from teaching my evening MBA class and realized that this was actually a topic that many had opinions on. I am anxious to hear what you think.
I agree that there are times when you don’t have time to write a formal thank-you and an email will convey your message quickly and effectively. For instance, an email is helpful when you have interviewed for a job and they are selecting a candidate the next day and you want to make sure your interviewer knows you are grateful for their time and are the best candidate for the job! But, there are other times that a hand-written gesture is most appreciated, as evidenced by the stack in my late grandmother’s bedroom.
Original Post on 1-7-12
A USA Today snapshot reveals that I am one of only 31% of mothers who always require my children to send a thank-you note. An almost equal amount NEVER ask their children to write thank-you notes. What is this world coming to?!
My teenagers have been writing thank-you notes since they were born. Yes, I signed the cards for them then. Then, as they could draw, they would scribble something, then add their name, then a word, then a sentence, then write the whole card. It was a gradual evolution, but I have always wanted them to understand gratitude. If we don’t say thank-you, how can we express our gratitude and have a grateful heart?
Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I know that when I wrote thank-you notes to my co-workers when I was in sales and marketing, for a small act of kindness they did for our customers, Coke and Pepsi, they were so grateful that someone noticed their work. I know how much my parents love getting notes from my teenagers, even the short ones they write now. My grandmother loved my notes (thank you and otherwise) so much that my parents found a pile of them in her room after she died.
In our first book, we wrote a chapter called, “Think Thank-you”. Being grateful also comes from a place of compassion, where you appreciate what you have and what others do for you. One of my favorite thank-you notes I ever received was from the late Wake Forest basketball coach, Skip Prosser. One of my students was on the basketball team and invited me to be a “guest coach” for one of the games. It was a thrill to watch him play from the floor, sitting right behind the team. I sent Skip a thank-you note, telling him how much it meant to include me and my family in something like that. Skip Prosser actually sent me a thank-you note for my thank you note (!), thanking me for my teaching and service to Wake Forest University. He was the only one to ever thank me for doing my job.
You never know how much those words will mean to someone.
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