Thursday, October 24, 2013

The art of a good thank you note:

When our family lived in Searcy AR, we were enrolled in the Harding school of Biblical studies.  As a full-time preaching student, our family was blessed by a few churches and several families who pitched in a good portion of our financial support, supporting us sort of like missionaries.

The vast majority of the students I studied with had monthly supporters too.  I remember a few classmates, who over time, lost the help of some of their supporters.  I was amazed that these classmates neglected to keep their supporters updated, and, that they infrequently if ever sent thank you letters.   Personally, for the 2 & 1/2 years we were at Harding, we sent our supporters monthly thank you letters.  You have to get pretty creative to say thank you to the same set of people, for 30 months, month after month.  All of our supporters stuck with us till the end.

Most people are never going to be dependent on monthly supporters, but everyone of us will have an opportunity to say "thank you" often enough.  After an interview, graduations, weddings, Christmas time, you name it, people enrich our lives constantly.

In our family, we try hard to write thank you notes, even over simple things like being invited over for dinner.  Tammy keeps a drawer in her desk filled with all kinds of cards, blank ones, cards for encouragement, thank you cards, you name it.  So the art of writing a good thank you note starts with being prepared --having some sort of stationery on hand.

The next thing to keep in mind, is being timely.
The sooner you send off a nice thank you note, the better.

And then finally, having something meaningful to write. A short sincere note communicates your consideration.  It also:

  • Updates the giver, "hey don't worry, I received your package in the mail."
  • Shows gratitude, "hey I appreciate your gift, I'm not ungrateful." 
  • Says, you do not have a sense of entitlement.  
  • And finally, it displays your respectful attitude.  

Writing a good thank you note isn't about manipulation or about groveling.  It's about being polite, and exhibiting good manners.  I actually enjoy writing thank you notes, it isn't a burden or a chore.  I like the feeling of knowing that someone cared enough to bless us in whatever way they chose, and I enjoy the good feeling of expressing our appreciation.  

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