Ok, so I come from the generation who were taught “cursive writing” in school. I can vividly remember sitting at the kitchen table working on my penmanship. I am also of the generation that used this fine art to communicate. When you got a gift, you sent a thank you note. Your note was sincere and it not only thanked the person for the gift, but it told them how you planned to use it. And you closed the letter with a personal and sincere closing. It was courteous and it was expected.
Fast forward to 2016. I understand that penmanship is no longer taught in schools. But what concerns me the most is that the art of sincere communication has also gone by the wayside. We see this personally and we see it professionally. We use email and text messaging to communicate. Our interactions are short and to the point – a volley of dialogue going back and forth between multiple parties with “smilies” and other emoticons inserted.
So, let’s stop for a moment. Let’s say you want to make an impact that people actually will remember. Why not sit down and pen a handwritten letter?
Consider the benefits:
- A handwritten letter sets you apart from others. When you type a note and email it, it ends up in the mailbox with hundreds of other emails. But people take note and remember the handwritten envelope as it crosses their desk. The simple and personal handwritten note might just be a more effective tool in landing that job or gaining an opportunity for new business. It captures the attention and it shows that you took the time to write down your thoughts, put them in an envelope and take them to the mailbox. A lot more effort than the simple press of the “send” button.
- A handwritten letter might just get you past the “gate keeper.” Face it, making contact with key decision makers is tough. Whether it is being deposited into voicemail or navigating around an administrative assistant – it is often difficult making that connection. But the odds of a personal letter landing on their desk without intervention is high. Consider making a personal introduction or request for an appointment from that hard-to-reach executive with a handwritten note.
- A handwritten letter is tangible and it has longevity. You can hold a letter in your hand. It is physical and longer lasting than a phone call or an email. For a potential employer or customer, it is a physical reminder of who you are and what value you represent to them. And in some cases, that value is respect. It is genuine – pure and simple.
So, the next time you want to reach out and touch someone – try doing it with a personal letter. Not only will it force you to really take the time to consider the message you are sending, but it will convey your thoughts in a far more meaningful way.