We’ve all been told a thousand times that to increase our influence and effectiveness, we need to write personal thank-you notes.
Here’s the right way to do it, as evidenced by a 1991 note from George H.W. Bush to Goldie Hawn. The president says:
- He was nervous about being seated next to her “only because sometimes I’m not too hot of a dinner partner.” Poking fun at yourself is the gold standard in humor.
- “You were a fantastic dinner partner.” He keeps the spotlight on her, where it belongs.
- “You made me feel welcome and totally at ease.” Name at least one specific thing. No “thanks for everything.”
— Adapted from “Anatomy of a Great Thank-You Note,” David Hochman, Reader’s Digest.
Tip: Find more advice on "the art of the personal note" in our free report, 14 Tips on Business Etiquette: Setting a professional tone with co-workers, clients and customers.