The Importance of the Personal Touch

by Joe Lavelle on July 1, 2009

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thank you note

I would never dispute the fact that technology has added a lot of wonderful conveniences to our lives, both in terms of personal and business communications.  We are able to receive news from around the world almost instantaneously.    We can telecommute from home or a hotel room that is hundreds of miles from our office.  In fact, I am working on this post from the beach where I am on vacation with my family.  If we so desire, we can get on a computer and order a new pair of shoes at 2:00am.  Quick text messages can provide quick reminders that we need to pick up the children or a gallon of milk before coming home.  However, there is also the downside to all of the electronic devices with which we surround ourselves.  Most importantly, I believe, is the fact that we are losing our ability to interact with other people using manners and concern that used to be commonplace.

I remember when I first read Dale Carnegie’s internationally known book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  A crucial tenet of his philosophy, which was reiterated time and again, was the need to make others feel valued and remembered.  Taking the time to learn names, making mental notes about family members and personal concerns, and adding the human touch whenever possible are all important tips for success when dealing with people.  One specific way in which you can show people that they matter is through personalized notes.  Do you take the time to acknowledge the birth of a child by someone in your office?  When one of your team members goes the extra mile on a big project, do you send him a thank-you note to acknowledge his efforts?  When your supervisor lost a parent last year, did you write a few lines to let her know that you were remembering her during this difficult time?  Your handwriting on a personal note card will mean a lot to someone in any circumstance.  And, your kindness will be remembered.

In my new book, Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, I share dozens of tips for people who are determined to move ahead in their careers.  You can find the book on at or at my website.  I have many years of experience in business and personal coaching, and I believe that my advice will put you on the path to faster promotions and bigger raises.  I hope you will check it out and then let me know what you think!

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