This past week, a journalist chum mentioned she was working on an article on secondary ties—those that go beyond family and friends– and asked if I had any techniques for strengthening them.
The list I gave her went on and on…but I thought I would do an immediate share on one of my favorites:
Keep cards on hand all the time, for every occasion, so that if and when someone you know—particularly peripherally—has a birthday/anniversary/illness/bad day/bereavement/promotion all that’s necessary in order to acknowledge it is to open the drawer of your desk.
Why is a snail-mail card better than an email or e-card? To me, the extra steps of purchasing it and posting it reinforce for the receiver how very worthy they were of your time and attention. (Set phone alerts for birthdays and business anniversaries that require advance planning.)
To that end, I shop for cards all the time, everywhere: grocery stores, drugstores, museums, kiosks on the street…..I don’t care. The main thing is to have a plethora available that run the gamut of circumstances.
(B/t/w the card pictured, above, was chosen solely to make someone laugh—because sometimes that’s all that’s needed…..)
Aside from the obvious reason why it’s a nice thing to do, it is something that’s likely to stick with the recipient long after their noteworthy occasion passes—making it far more likely your tie will be stronger the next time you need to give it a tug.