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What is your EtiQ?

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A Life Well Lived - Having Style 

Written Thank-yous can be well worth the effort, ink

By Cynthia Grosso

In this season of thankfulness and giving, two words��Thank-you�, are often the most common words we say and hear. Thank-yous are often spoken, but many times not written. In our fast pace society, Many people think that a verbal thank-you is enough�. sometimes that�s true�but not always.

A written thank-you note is not always required. However, it is a gracious gesture of appreciation and also one of thoughtfulness and kindness.

Many times writing a thank you note will set you apart from the crowd. People appreciate being noted for their kind efforts. Recipients remember this gesture and often times even save the thank-you note.

Always remember it is never wrong to send a note in addition to your verbal thanks. I always suggest to people to go the extra mile (there is not much traffic there) and put their gratitude into words.

In business, there are obvious reasons for sending thank-you notes. Some of them include receiving a personal gift, being taken to lunch or in response to a referral. Other times would be after a job interview or when a co-worker or boss does a favor.  Less obvious reasons may be after receipt of a company give away, such as a calendar, etc., for a print or broadcast media journalist after an interview or story; and receiving tickets to a game, concert, event, etc.  Interestingly, a year-end bonus is not a personal gift.  It is a present from your employer and only a verbal thank you is required.  When in doubt, however, send a thank you note. 

Question; How long should someone spend helping you before it is considered proper etiquette to thank them in writing?

Answer: 15 minutes

It is suggested to send the note within 24 hours if possible. However, up to 5 days after the event took place is acceptable. It is my opinion that it is better to send one late than not at all.

Keep it brief�3 to 5 sentences is all that is necessary. One suggestion by experts on the contents may be:

  1. Words of thanks
  2. Words of acknowledgement of the event
  3. A positive statement about the person getting the thanks
  4. Positive words about future contact.

Try not to start off by saying �Thank you for�..� however, instead try something like�  �I enjoyed our lunch meeting on Thursday�.Thank you for your thoughts on the project.  You are always so creative! It was a pleasure seeing you and I look forward to talking to you on Wednesday.�

The note should be written and signed by the sender and not by their assistant or secretary.

Question: Should a thank-you note be typed or hand written?

Answer: hand written

The paper a thank-you note is written on is important.  It should be good quality paper; it could a correspondence card size, 5 x 7 inch paper or a fold over note. Thank-you stationery should not be cute in business, but rather have your name or your company name or both.  It should not, however, be a card that has a printed thank-you on it.  You should hand write those words yourself.   

A common etiquette mistake I see when writing thank-you notes is the address on the outside of the envelope.  For example, the envelope may read John Smith�.then the address, this is incorrect. The proper reference should be Mr. John Smith. Always use the honorific when addressing an envelope.

Send thank you notes to all who deserve it. You can ask someone to convey thanks for you in a note, however, if the person you are wanting to thank is of equal status, send each a note.

Hand-writing a thank-you note is something noticed and remembered.  It makes the receiver feel important that they are worthy enough for you to take the time and thank them. According to Dr. John Dewey, a famous American Philosopher, the need to be important is the deepest need we have as human beings.  Writing a thank-you note can help build relationships and good will, which inevitably aids in your success.  By writing thank-you notes to others for their efforts, we are recognized for ours.


Source: Article published in the Post and Courier

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