I MAILED A FAN LETTER YESTERDAY TO SOMEONE WHO IS A REALLY BIG DEAL.
My daughter, who is 5, spent over an hour working on the letter and drawing an accompanying picture. In her mind, this person is the best thing since sliced bread.
Who is this you ask? Taylor Swift? Michelle Obama? Kate Middleton?
Dee Garretson. The new author of the Boxcar Children books. My daughter is OBSESSED with Benny, Jessie, Violet & Henry.
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU WROTE A “FAN” LETTER?
I’m not talking about the time you wrote Lance Bass from NYSC a note in middle school— I mean, when is the last time you read an article and got so much value out of it that you e-mailed the author to thank them? Or wrote a note to a colleague who has been on 🔥at work complimenting their big sales? Or emailed an old boss to check in and thank them for investing in you?
Research published recently in Psychological Science, says people chronically underestimate the power of expressing gratitude & overestimate how awkward it will be, which may keep them from engaging in the simple but impactful practice. Writing gratitude— or fan— letters comes at little to no cost, yet is a proven way to boost both YOUR mood & the person receiving the letter & strengthen the relationship.
I shared this message on my LinkedIn page. One of my favorite connections, Kevin Turner, of TNT Branding, added something worth sharing, “over my leadership career, I have made it a personal policy to mail a letter, at least once a month and sometimes more often, to someone’s boss or their boss’s boss when they went out of there way to help me, made me feel welcome, solved a difficult problem with finesse or if I witness them doing the same for others or observe an incredible act of kindness. I do not tell the individual of my intentions, I ask their name, do the research to find the right ears/eyes and then send the hand signed, letter by mail. Over the years many of my letter’s subjects have met, called or written back to me to let me know how their letter impacted their lives from accolades in meetings when their boss read the letter out loud, to awards, customer service bonuses and even a few promotions that it had a direct impact on. Not the intent but a life choice benefit, there are many places, when I visit, where I receive a little extra special treatment. Share the Good when you witness it in action if you want it to flourish.”