After my piece on Grati-tweets and Grati-texts, I received an outpouring of emails, texts, and tweets from folks expressing their appreciation of me—wow! It felt great! One loyal reader, Deborah, told me how she’d sent a grati-text to a mentor who lived in another state. The mentor texted back how timely her message was. She’d had a difficult and emotional day and thanked her profusely for her thoughtfulness.
On the flip side, I received this response from a dear friend: “Dearest Karyn, I just wanted to let you know that I believe in the power of gratitude, certainly in the power of laughter and optimism, and HATED your suggestions!”
She went on to explain that she was not just low-tech, but NO-tech. She didn’t open e-cards, refused to text and had no social media accounts—not one!
I LOVED her note! (It’s so awesome when your audience makes your segue for you!) And because one size does NOT fit all, here are 6 tips for showing your appreciation via good-old-fashioned low-tech techniques.
1. Put it in writing: Send a letter, a real letter (or card, or even a postcard, post-it notes!) These days, a note sent via snail mail really stands out. Past president of Million Dollar Round Table, Scotty Brennan, told me (and 5,000 others in Bangkok) that every Sunday evening he takes time to write hand-written notes to some of his clients. So break out the stationary, buy a real, physical card—the kind you have to put a stamp on. Postcards can be quick and fun. And post-it notes come plain or illustrated in all shapes, colors, sizes—and you can stick one of those puppies on someone’s mirror, microwave, computer screen, steering wheel—use your imagination and show your appreciation AND creativity. I’ve even left notes of appreciation on the shower door in washable crayon! (Granted, I’m the one that cleans it up, later….)
2. Pick up the phone for a live conversation (if you get voicemail, call back later). Today so many folks would rather text than talk. But you can’t really express emotion in a text or email (no, emoticons do not count!) and it’s easier to be misinterpreted in writing than by talking. And I’m guessing there is someone in your life who would love to hear the sound of your voice.
3. Face to face: Meet for coffee, meet for lunch, meet for wine, a sunset, a walk. And while you are face to face, let them know that you think they are covered in awesome-sauce!
4. Send a small/personal/fun gift: key words: personal, fun. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly. My branding pal, Liz Goodgold, sent me a tin candy box last week that fit my business cards perfectly. It was such a treat and meant so much that she was thinking of me.
5. Publically recognize them. Many years ago, humorist Hope Mihalap shared with me her concept of living eulogies. She explained that we wait until our loved ones pass away to express to everyone how wonderful we thought they were. “Tell everyone how wonderful they are now, while they can still appreciate it!” Whether it’s at work, in your association, your church, or other social group, spread the word! Tell others you think this special person rocks!
6. Do an act of kindness for them: cook them dinner, offer to watch their kids, return their grocery cart for them (AFTER they’ve removed their groceries!). I awoke one snowy morning in Missouri and saw the driveway completely cleared. As I poked my head out the door my neighbor waved and said, “I figured as long as I was clearing my driveway, I might as well clear yours, too!” My hero!
Speaker, author, and neurohumorist Karyn Buxman, is committed to achieving global health through laughter and healing the humor impaired. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for more tips on how humor and positive emotions can help you achieve success, significance and happiness.