There are some who would argue that in this day and age of e-mail, the world has become a more impersonal place than in those halcyon days of yesteryear.
Please say it isn’t so. In this e-mail age, it has become SO easy to be personal, that I can’t for the life of me fathom why anyone wouldn’t take the time to say thank you to anyone and everyone who sends them a message.
I like to think that I have 27,000 friends. (I hope all of you feel the same way.) Although all of you need to be patient with me from time to time because I fall behind in my e-mail, I make every attempt to respond to anyone who takes the time to write.
We have a column in our newsletter called “Members in need of assistance”. When you need help, I hope you will enjoy the benefits of being a member of the largest and nicest networking group in the world and post your requirements. If you as a member happen read a request for which you know the answer, I hope you will take the time to provide a short or long answer as your schedule and interest allow.
Now to keep this whole friendship thing going, I need those of you who request information to send thank you notes. I’ll give you a little tip: The time to do it is when you get a message from another person. Just hit reply and say “Thanks”. Please make it look personal, although everyone knows that you can create a “fill in the blank” boilerplate response to make your life easier. I use them all the time. They save a lot of typing and by providing me with options, ensure that I don’t forget some part of my message.
I know this will come as a shock to those of you sending helpful responses, but my guess is that many of you don’t have an outgoing signature and many of the folks to whom you are writing are unfortunate in not have a secret decoder ring as I do. So if your thank you note begins “Dear Sir or Madam”, you will know why.
In the alternate of sending an immediate response, which I strongly recommend, you can set up a folder and place all the messages you get there for when you have time. I fear you will never have time, but that is your call. The folder approach can work well even if you have sent a preliminary thank you. For those who have overwhelmed you with the kindness of their response, you may want send an additional note. If you have consolidated the responses you received into intelligence of some kind, you can quite rapidly attach or paste this information into the e-mails you have so carefully retained in this folder. They honestly go out rather fast. (I know your time is precious.)
While the rest of the world may be a cold and cruel place, I hope that within The FENG, this will never be the case.
The FENG is a networking group, not a job listing service. If you want the warmth of the friendships in our “little” circle of friends to grow, you have to do your part.
As I say all the time: Every day and in every way, it all starts with you.