The emotional equity that comes with writing a letter hit me today. When was the last time you wrote a note to someone? I don’t mean sitting down at the computer, typing up a letter, printing it and signing it. I mean putting pen to paper, hand writing your note and then placing it in an envelope to be mailed. It is far too easy to flip open the laptop, log into e-mail and zing off your latest thought to someone. E-mails are so quick. They reflect our desire for instant gratification. Writing a letter, by contrast, takes time, thought and is a reflection of someone who cares.
Over the past three years I have sent a number of cards, mostly thank you notes, to people on my team. Taking the time to thank someone in person or in a card is very important. It communicates that the individual being thanked has value and is appreciated. I am sure you would feel the same if you received such a card. My experience is that people appreciate getting a note of thanks, how do I know, because they tell me. People also post these on their partitions in their office to communicate the fact that they received a note of thanks. This approach has been part of my strategy to continually improve morale.
Recently I added letter writing to my day. I’ve taken up letter writing because I want to communicate to my recipient that I value them so much that I’m taking the time to hand write a note. In this day of instant information and hyper connectivity a letter is meaningful.
A few days ago I spoke with someone on the phone to discuss an important personal matter. In the past I would follow up that type of conversation with an e-mail thanking the individual for his or her time. This time I did not do that. I hung up the phone, went to my desk, got out a piece of paper and envelope (matching, of course) and wrote a letter. I signed it, hand wrote the address, placed a stamp on it and into the mailbox it went.
That, my friends and colleagues, is something our great grandparents did because that is how they communicated. This is something we need to do, not just to communicate, but to communicate how important people are. When was the last time you received a hand written note?