That means a handwritten note (like the one I received recently from Tennessee women’s basketball coach Holly Warlick) stands out more than ever. If you want to inspire someone, try getting out a card, pen, and stamps.
Here are 9 reasons why people write notes, and how to make a note like this count.
1. Don’t worry about your handwriting. A lot of people feel like a typed message is better because it’s easier to read. Maybe so, but your own writing shows the recipient that you took the time to be vulnerable and put yourself on paper for them.
2. It doesn’t have to be long. The note from Holly Warlick, the Tennessee coach, conveyed her gratitude and excitement in five sentences that took up seven lines.
3. Make it from your heart. With handwritten notes, the act of writing is more important than precise content. Whatever your message, brief is just fine. In fact, less can be more.
4. Add a detail about the relationship. Holly didn’t just say thanks; she referenced a box I had sent her. She had heard me speak at a conference and I had sent her a box of resources for continued growth. A single detail makes a note mean even more.
5. Traditions matter. To older generations, a handwritten note shows respect and courtesy, that you understand a language that is part of their history. Tradition is a big reason that Peyton Manning writes notes to retiring players.
6. Values show that you understand the person’s world. After every keynote speech, I send a handwritten note to the team who hired me. I share my gratitude for the chance to speak, and even more for the trust they showed in me to connect to their people. Values link people on a deeper level than actions, and handwritten notes show deeper investment, and appreciation.
7. A note helps turn a little moment into a big outcome. When I represented pro golfers, I made sure each had four addressed stamped envelopes before they played a pro-am. Afterwards, they jotted a thank you note to their playing partners with a detail like their great putt on 18. This built their network of business partners long after their pro golf careers were done.
8. Consistent note writing builds a classy reputation. One speaker bureau that books me always makes sure that I receive a handwritten note when I arrive at the engagement. The note encourages me to rock it or says something fun. No matter how many of these I get, it’s always thoughtful and makes me smile.
9. A note makes you stand out from the pack. Going the extra mile in this way shows that you genuinely care about the relationship and your role in it. If you are seeking work, a handwritten note speaks for you in a way that your resume never can, and it will improve your chances of landing the job.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
A handwritten note shows how intentional you are. It tells a person that you took the time to care, that you are real and authentic. That’s inspiring, and when you write about gratitude or encouragement, you’re sending an old-school message that cuts through the digital noise every day. Send a handwritten note next week to someone in your life, and see how you feel when you put it in the mailbox.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.