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Use the Thanksgiving holiday to strengthen your professional relationships

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and it’s a wonderful time to reconnect with others and share gratitude. It is not just about family. Many people impact our lives in a meaningful way. Take the opportunity to reach out (read: network).

Why is Thanksgiving a good time to reach out? First, it is a holiday not based on religious beliefs, so it will not alienate anyone. It also is the kick-off of the holiday season, so your note won’t get lost in the crowd as a holiday card might. Third, everyone sends a “Happy Holidays” message, but only a few take the time to craft a personal Thanksgiving email – or even better, a note.

Write something short and sincere. If you have nothing to say, perhaps this is someone that you do not have a close-enough connection to write. Here are a few example notes that you can tailor to suit your situation.

Dear Cindy,
Just a quick note to thank you for your partnership on the Reynolds project. You and your team’s expertise helped tremendously. I hope you and your family have a nice Thanksgiving. I look forward to partnering with you on future projects in 2013.

Warmly,
Patricia

and

Dear Robin,
Thank you for your support during my tenure as President of the North Texas Chapter of Fundraising Professionals. It’s been a great year, and I could not have done it without you. I hope you and your family have a nice Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming holiday party!

Warmly,
Patricia

You are looking to build or strengthen relationships, so steer clear of mass emails. Send select colleagues, business partners, clients and industry contacts a note or short email. If you are pressed for time, pick five to eight. Remember, if the message is genuine, it will be appreciate by the recipient.

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