The power of a thank you card

The power of a thank you card

Thank you cards. I only write a handful a year, not nearly as many as I should. I sit down and pick up a pen to express gratitude for a fruitful partnership or a smooth product launch. It’s only five to seven sentences because there isn’t much space. Then I address an envelope, slap a stamp on it, and drop it in the mail. The old delivered-by-a-mail-carrier mail.

Here’s the crazy part, and the reason I know these handwritten cards make an impact: In the majority of cases I get an email in reply—a thank you for my thank you! When so much of our professional communication happens via email or quick Slack messages, a handwritten card stands out and is appreciated, even in my messy scrawl. A card says the recipient is important enough to take the time to write and mail a note.

When I write a thank you card, the format is often the same: I greet the person with a hello, share a few details I appreciate about both the work itself and their role in making it a success. Then I say “thank you” and sign my name. I’m specific and sincere without fawning or going overboard. It takes five minutes, tops.

The takeaway: Buy a stack of cards and keep them in your workspace. I use branded Agathon cards embossed with an older version of our logo (but you wouldn’t know it’s the old one if I hadn’t just told you), but generic cards are great too. Before we printed our own, I used cards from Target that matched our corporate colors. As long as they’re good quality, no one cares. It’s what you put inside the thank you card that matters.

We’re all busy, and yes, this is One More Thing To Do. But part of creating healthy team chemistry is recognizing when we’ve accomplished something really good together. We shouldn’t let this opportunity for a moment of appreciation slip by; it’s the small moments like these that fuel authentic relationships. And it’s worth the few minutes to say thanks.

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