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Send Thank-You Notes; Real Ones

Send Thank-You Notes; Real Ones

It’s really easy to send email. It’s fairly easy to find and use a telephone number. So, what do you do when you really want to thank someone for something? I say, go back to the good old snail mail and send a Thank-You note. Here are some thoughts:

  • Get clever about the notes– Don’t just go buy a box of nice matching stationary (unless you’re a stuffy law firm or an actuary). Try something different, something eye-catching. Go buy comic books from the dollar bin and a package of mid-sized rectangle stick-on labels. Try cutting up matching-sized stuff that normally would go into your recylcling bin. Do something to set your thank-you apart from the rest of the mail. (Bonus- if you size it identical to a typical post-card and make it out of card stock (cereal boxes?), you can pay less to mail it (in the US at least).
  • Be specific– Don’t just send a “thanks” and sign it. Write something more direct, “Fred- It was great talking with you. I’m excited about posting the interview soon.” That helps people remember WHY they’re getting the thank-you.
  • Market just a little, but not a lot– Use the thank-you card to strengthen your brand, personal or otherwise. With my “Fred” example, maybe I’d add on, “Keep checking in at Lifehack.org for that interview.” Of course, I’ll email Fred when it’s posted, but he’ll get the thank-you card as a visual reinforcement. Bonus: if you make a really attractive note, they might post it at their desk, so consider having your URL or something visible on that side.
  • Do it quickly– Thank-you notes aren’t all that useful if you wait a few months to send them. Set a time limit of 2 days to get it out. Move this item high up your list of priorities.
  • Don’t email about the thank-you– It just seems tacky to send email saying, “Did you get that thank-you note I mailed you?” Send it and forget it. Then, if you want more contact, email the person on some other topic. They’ll be prompted to say, “Oh, hey! I got that thank-you note you sent, Chris. That was really clever. I can’t believe you sent me an empty tin can as a note!”

YOUR TURN

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What did this make you think about? Can you open up the hack a little more? What are some of YOUR best thank-you hacks? (By the way, you know who sends a GREAT thank-you note? Patricia Ryan Madson.

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–Chris Brogan writes about creativity and self-improvement at [chrisbrogan.com]. Add hisRSS feed. Oh, and would you be his friend on MySpace?

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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