Kim's - Valuable Tips, Ideas, and Insights to greater Confidence and Success

Kimberley Roberts etiquette, manners, confidence, and success go hand-in-hand Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:

- Appearance
- Behavior
- Communication

- The Power of the Written Word- Tip #12

In today’s world of cell phones and computers, both voice mail and email have become the standard for connecting with friends, family, acquaintances, and business associates.

But when is the use of these not correct?

There are two occasions only hand written notes are appropriate – messages of condolence and thank-you notes. At these two times, your personal touch by hand writing your thoughts is critical. Even a business associate, who would normally receive business correspondence from you, should receive a hand written note.

‘Poor handwriting’ is not an excuse to avoid this obligation. Many people will say their handwriting isn’t legible, and therefore never hand write any correspondence. In most cases they may not win a penmanship award, but their writing is certainly readable. And therefore does not excuse them from this important task.

If however, your writing is truly “chicken scratch” and you ‘must’ use a computer, select a font that will give a more personal touch to the writing, such as Cornet, Brush, or other script font.

Because handwritten notes are so rarely received, they carry more psychological impact. Think of this when you want to set yourself apart, whether in a personal or business relationship.

Here are some good opportunities to use hand written notes:

- Family and friends - A quick “just remembering the time we…” sent to a family member or friend will bring a smile to the recipient’s face. The note may only be two or three lines long.

- New business relationship – A note “looking forward to our meeting next week”, or “looking forward to meeting with you and discussing your…”

- Existing business relationship – Established business relationships are many times taken for granted, as time and resources are spent trying to gain new customers. An existing customer is just as valuable. A personal note, at an appropriate time, is a goodwill gesture.

Here are a few keys to good hand-written notes:

- Be sincere. One or two lines of sincere thoughts are much better than a page filled with words trying to manipulate. The reader will quickly pick up on your insincerity and you’ve lost credibility.

- Be in a positive frame of mind when you write. If your energy is low or you’re in a bad mood, it will reflect in your writing. Identify the time of day you’re at your best, and schedule your note writing during that time frame.

- Use attractive paper and a good writing pen. Crane paper made from cotton is the standard for excellence. If you’re not familiar with fine quality stationery, there is very excellent information at Crane’s Website. You can also visit a good stationery store and learn about the feel and looks of quality stationery. Whether or not you select Crane for all your correspondence, at least you’ll make an educated choice when selecting your paper and note cards.

You want the appearance of your note to reflect the message you’re sending. A serious or somber note requires traditional colors of white, cream or pale gray using a pen with black or blue ink. A whimsical note to a friend may be on fun colored paper using a pen with contrasting ink.

- Create an environment to make your note writing a productive and pleasurable process. Have your paper, notes, pens, stamps and addresses together in one spot so you can efficiently sit down and quickly jot a note.

At work you may have all your supplies in one desk drawer. At home have them all in a box or basket that you can carry to the location where you want to sit and write. And if you travel, keep a small supply in a portfolio that’s easy to pull out and use while on the plane or in a hotel room.

If you have to gather everything before you get started, you’ll be interrupted or decide to “wait until you have more time” and miss a great opportunity to impact someone else.

The classy person uses time wisely and seeks out opportunities to connect, even if for a just moment. Hand-written notes are a wonderful way for that personal connection.

I'm Looking forward to sending you another of my ClassyTips next Wednesday. Until then, have a great week, and don't forget to visit my Forum that answers your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.

Kiberley Roberts ClassyTips

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