Write More Thank You Letters to Colleagues You Value

Professional communication requires immense gratitude. This is an indispensable option for letters, even those that do not require action on the part of the recipient. But when was the last time you sat outside of this 37 email correspondence and wrote a thank you note to a colleague?

Freelance writer Emily Monaco recently wrote for Muse about her efforts to increase thank-you letters. She started out with friends and family members, but soon expanded her weekly practice to include members of her professional network. She thanked the experts she interviewed for the articles, the journalist whose work she admired, and the former manager who influenced her workflow. While she didn’t expect anything in return from the notes, she said Monaco often found it had an impact on her working relationship, even in subtle ways. Take, for example, a note to an editor she enjoyed working with.

When a project with an editor that I really enjoyed working with came to an end, I sent her an email with thanks. She wrote back urging me to speak again to fill an unexpected hole in her editorial calendar. My note reminded her of who I am long after the invoices were issued, and it seemed as if our relationship had gone from being a transactional relationship to something more than a real coworker.

I love Monaco’s ambition because it makes you wonder what is on your list for the future. You may have completed a major project, made a professional breakthrough, or recalled a lesson from the past that could have been applied recently. Taking the time to thank others who, directly or indirectly, helped make your progress can help you see how far you’ve come and encourage you to acknowledge your accomplishments .

Genuine gratitude doesn’t have to last long enough to become another burden on your schedule. And it doesn’t need to be sent by regular mail if you don’t like handwritten correspondence. You can type a short email or even send a text message, depending on your relationship. Don’t be jubilant – all you have to do is tell the recipient why you value him or his work.


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