Tool of the Month: The Personal Note

Linda Dulye's picture
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The volume of email in our in box teeters from overflowing to merely flooded, usually in a matter of minutes. The next time you want to pass along thanks, encouragement and kudos push away the keyboard and pull out a piece of paper.

We coach managers to write three handwritten notes weekly that recognize managers and employees for their ideas, comments and questions. Use the TEAK framework -- Thanks, Encouragement and Kudos -- for crafting notes that make a difference.

  • Thanks. Look for unconventional opportunities to thank an employee or colleague for sharing a new idea, raising a difficult issue in a meeting or offering candid feedback.
  • Encouragement. Everyone faces the ups and downs of life inside an organization, large or small. Send a handwritten note to boost spirits or offer advice. Sometimes all it takes is a small recognition to get someone re-energized and back on their game.
  • Kudos. The next time you attend a terrific event or meeting, write a note to the team that organized it. If someone wins an industry or community award, let them know you’re happy about the recognition.

With so much communication arriving on our screens, the handwritten personal note will break through the clutter and have a lasting impact on the recipient. And they can serve as a powerful motivator.

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