Tips for Writing Thank You Notes

The habit this month is Celebrate and Appreciate, and in May at the end of a school year, you often find yourself writing many thank you cards. We thought these quick tips from Chapter 12 of Onward would be helpful:

  1. Be genuine. Inauthentic appreciation is disconcerting.
  2. Speak from the heart. This requires vulnerability, so recognize your emotions.
  3. Talk about the impact the other person’s actions have had on you. “I appreciate how, every time I arrive at school, you welcome me with such warmth. It makes me feel happy to be here.”
  4. Stay focused on the recipient. Twisting an appreciation into a way to get your own emotional needs met takes away from the appreciation. For example, this is not a true appreciation: “I wanted to thank you for bringing in my kids after recess when I wasn’t out there; I was stuck in the office trying to finish making copies, and if this school functioned at all, I wouldn’t have been late.” A true appreciation would be, “Thanks so much for bringing in my kids after recess. It was a relief to know that they weren’t outside waiting for me.”

So much of this resilience work is about intentionality. So the next time you go to write a thank you card, be intentional and genuine. Share the impact! And remember that it is about the person that you are thanking!

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