Making the extra effort takes a few minutes, but it packs a wallop of positive impact on the recipient, since people rarely take the time to write.
“We’re used to just picking up a card for special events. But you can go a step further by addressing them personally inside. That puts you in a place where you’ll be remembered,” says Angela Ensminger, who coauthored a book titled, On a Personal Note: A Guide to Writing Notes with Style.
She says writing personal or business notes doesn’t have to be scary. And you can do it for birthdays, thank you’s, congratulations, encouragement, support, advice or keeping in touch.
Here’s an example of a well-written birthday note:
Happy birthday! I just wanted to drop you a note on your special day to let you know I’m thinking of you. I hope this year is filled with the things you enjoy the most, and I hope you’ll have time to enjoy some sushi this weekend to celebrate. I also want to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed working with you this year. Your enthusiasm, energy and optimism are contagious, and it’s amazing what a positive influence you’ve had on the whole department. Thanks so much for being you—have a wonderful birthday!
What Michelle does right:
First, she expresses appreciation for their working relationship, as well as Lorraine’s unique contributions. Then she shows her knowledge of the recipient by mentioning a favorite food and specifying traits that have made a positive impact at work. What a great way to honor someone on her special day!
“Admins are in a position of knowing a lot about what’s going on in people’s lives,” Ensminger says, which gives you the unique opportunity to address people in a meaningful way.