"If you have given me a gift and wondered where your Thank You note is, I can tell you. In my house. I write many more Thank You notes than are ever delivered. It's that finishing part that gets me."
It's an area that I'm also working on. In business and personal circles, gratitude is a key ingredient for success, according to many career/personal development mavens. Here's one message I'm memorizing:
"It is important to your success to have gratitude and it is important to your character to show it....Expressing your appreciation for others and other's actions will strengthen your personal and business relationships." --Year to Success by Bo Bennett Day 51, page 90.
Here are reasons why I'm working on showing more gratitude:
1. My embarrassed parents: I feel guilty about all of those overdue Thank You notes that are owed to relatives, family friends and my parents' college buddies. I hate embarrassing my parents, who are excellent role models. (They're great about sending cards and letters). Imagine conversations like this:
Family friend: "Did Sharon ever get that check/gift/card? We sent it, but we never heard from her. Do you think it got lost in the mail?
My parents: Hmmm?!!! We'll call and ask her.
Me: Oh yeah!! Thank You! Thank You. We wrote the Thank You note. It's on the frig behind the Miami Heat magnet. We just need a stamp. (false-note giggle)
2. Business Scenario #1 It feels so inappropriate to ask a business contact for yet another favor, when I haven't properly acknowledged or thanked them for their last act of assistance. And it doesn't matter if my new request represents a win-win situation in which we both gain professionally. It still feels awkward to renew contact with a cloud of unexpressed gratitude.
Contact A: Did you ever get that email I sent you with a few suggestions?
Me: Oh yeah!! Thank You! Thank You! I wrote you a Thank You note. But it's in my email draft file. I just need to spell check it and hit the send button. (false-note laugh)
Contact A: Hmmm... :(
Me: But now that I have you on the phone, I need....
Contact A: Listen. This is not a good time. Can we chat later? Call me in 2010.
3. Business Scenario #2: On the other hand, I have been handsomely rewarded when I have taken the time to write and promptly send a Thank You note. Sometimes, my effort generates a new round of mutual appreciation and on other occasions, my gratitude has been met with additional offers of valuable help or assistance.
Me: Thanks so much for your help.
Contact B: Sure. Glad to help. I loved your note and it reminded me that I know of another editor who is looking for some writers. It's good money and great exposure. I'll forward their email to you.
Me: Wow! Thanks again.
Why I Collect Pennies: 6 Reasons for Loving Petty Cash
Permanently Altered: How I Avoided Red-Tag Seduction
Money: #1 Problem For Couples: New PayPal Survey
Be Careful on Hotel & Public Computers: Criminal Busted for Major Fraudx