Never Forget the Basics

I was recently involved in a complex business negotiation.  There were multiple parties involved, including multiple advisors.  Ultimately, the negotiations ended with me having to make a choice between two competing offers.

Fortunately, I had good advisors on my side.  Even before we made our decision, they outlined a plan for how we would inform the parties of our choice.  Telling the “winning” party was quite easy – everyone likes good news.  Telling the other party, with whom we still have a relationship, was not quite as easy.  In addition to phone calls, we decided to send handwritten notes to everyone involved. 

It did not take much longer to write a note than it would have to compose an email.  The act of writing a note – finding stationary, finding stamps, addressing the envelope, and putting the letter in a mailbox – is a lot more involved than hitting send in your email program.  Those actions demonstrate a level of thoughtfulness that hitting send does not. 

We all learned these lessons in kindergarten.  Say please.  Say thank you.  When possible, express your gratitude in person.  If you cannot do so, remember the message a handwritten note sends.  People like knowing you care. 

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