When was the last time someone wrote you a note? How did it make you feel?
Recently while chatting with my cousin Til, the subject of handwritten notes came up. She shared her anticipation finding a letter or card in her mailbox. Wondering who wrote her and why. The feel of the envelope, reading the return address to see where it came from, opening the note, and then reading it, slowly, deliberately. The person’s handwriting, their signature, even the paper they choose, or the design of the note card, all of it excites her. Being able to pick it up and read it again at one’s leisure.
Then she lamented that it seems people would rather text or email than take the time to send a handwritten note.
I must agree with her. It does seem like handwritten notes are not as common as they were. Yet we all have the same emotions when we receive one. Anticipation, wonder, happiness, and the warmth of family love, the caring of friends or the appreciation of a job well done by a boss or colleague.
Did you know that handwritten notes from employers have been shown to boost employee satisfaction? An article from the Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2021/11/how-to-write-a-meaningful-thank-you-note) November 17, 2021, references a study done by McKinsey & Co. indicating the number one reason employees leave a job is they don’t feel valued or have a sense of belonging at their workplace. It goes on to discuss the science behind gratitude, the release of Dopamine and Serotonin on the nervous system which translates to better performance and happier employees.
But sending a heartfelt personal note to a coworker can also be advantageous. Helping to build bonds and feelings of collegiality. It is always good to “cement”, as my old boss used to say, a relationship, be it business or personal.
Handwritten notes are a work of art. They are a personal expression of the person who wrote it and a concrete manifestation that you are special to them. The stationary or note card chosen and the pen used, reflects the esthetics of the writer. Their handwriting is singularly their own, their choice of words, their voice… All of this translates into a very personal expression of self and of love and gratitude the writer has towards the recipient.
Writing personal notes is not difficult. It comes down to three things:
· Make it personal
· Make it specific
· Make it genuine
To this day I enjoy writing notes and letters. True, I must make time to do it, but it is worth it.
I challenge you to make someone’s day this week and over the course of the month by writing them a note. And if you perhaps need a medium for that note, you can browse my note cards for some ideas that may bring joy to another person that you know.