Ladies and gentleman, for lack of a better word, gratitude is good.
I am twisting the famous line from the iconic 80’s movie Wall Street to illustrate a point.
Philanthropist Steven Burgess tells us “we were created to be conduits of love, kindness and goodness.” Is it even possible to be such a conduit when you have feelings of greed, lack and resentment?
We all know the answer is NO.
The remedy for greed, lack and resentment is gratitude.
Gratitude is good. It’s good for your soul, it’s good for relationships and it’s good for your business.
Let’s chat about business.
“Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important, and by far, the most life changing.” – Zig Ziglar
Gratitude creates a happier work place. Per an article by Mike Robbins entitled Staff Retention: The Power of Appreciation at Work on the website CIO.com:
“According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 64 percent of Americans who leave their jobs say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated. Gallup reports that almost 70 percent of people in the United States say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace. As a culture, we don’t do a very good job of expressing our appreciation for one another, especially at work.”
So how do you keep employees?
According to Robbins, it starts with you. The first step is to find things about your own work for which you are grateful and then TELL OTHERS! This act of telling others spreads the gratitude around, like manure, so that more gratitude can sprout. Once you are in this attitude of gratitude, you will start to see things about your co-workers and direct reports that you appreciate. The next step is vital! TELL THEM!
Say “thank you!” Not saying thank you does more damage than saying thank you does good. Publicly acknowledge when someone does good.
Send a greeting card or gift. In fact, make it a habit to send a greeting card or three each day! Mary Kay Ash built her 1.2 billion dollar cosmetics empire by sending 3 cards per day. Tom Hopkins, arguably the greatest sales trainer in the world sends 10 cards. Back in the old days when he sold real estate, he wrote those cards by hand. Today, he uses the same time saving and simple but powerful greeting card system that I use in my custom furniture business.
Once you start to do all these things, something remarkable will happen that can best be explained in a parable:
Imagine you are an investor. You find a piece of property you’d like to develop so you contact the listing agent. The price is right so you purchase the property and the agent recommends an architect, the architect recommends a general contractor, and the general contractor recommends a landscaper and so on. Six months later, your office building is complete and something remarkable happens. You begin receiving thank you cards and gifts from each of the contractors and sub-contractors who worked on your project. Even if the punch list of needed repairs is a mile long, every single member of that builder team has demonstrated their appreciation to you. You will have confidence that they will complete any necessary repairs AND they will be the first team you call the next time you have a project to build.
Ladies and gentleman, Gratitude is good for business.
In Growing Your Business Through Practicing Gratitude in Forbes, Stacey Power postulates:
“Focusing on gratitude, and really noticing on a daily basis which clients I was grateful for helped me become very clear about the mission of my business, and it was then I renamed the business Creating Answers and made a bold decision: I was only going to do work I loved, and I was only going to work with clients that I loved; ones that I felt grateful for.”
Imagine that, only doing business with clients for whom you are grateful.
If you are a business owner, this is tad easier to accomplish. I have fired clients. In fact, about 5 or 6 years ago, we fired our largest wholesale client. I am here to testify, that was the BEST decision our company ever made.
If you do not have the luxury of firing clients, how about focusing more energy on the clients that make you feel good and less on the ones that create the biggest headaches. OR, make an attitude shift!
This little trick worked for me… back when I worked for The North Face there was a ski shop owner in Vail named “John”. EVERYONE at TNF dreaded talking to him. When I took over the Rocky Mountain territory, I decided that I would kill John with kindness. I was as sweet as apple pie every time he called. You know what? Every year until I left, I received a Christmas present from John. That is what you call REVERSE GRATITUDE!
Gratitude is good for business!
Implement a gratitude strategy in your career. Create a social bank account and make regular deposits. Here are some simple ways:
- Send birthday cards and gifts to employees and coworkers
- Help others feel good about themselves
- Seek ways to make others look good
- Seek out ways to help others be valuable to those they serve
When you do this, you become remarkable… people tell others about you! They “remark” about you and soon not only will your business thrive but so will your personal relationship and your soul.
Gratitude is good for the soul.
About the Author:
Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte founded MomGeek.com in 1999. She is a pioneer in online custom furniture sales, award-winning speaker, coffee lover, Sci-Fi fan, mom, NADA certified Archery instructor, Girl Scout leader and all-around groovy woman. Not necessarily in that order.
When she isn’t hanging out with her good pal, Bobba Fett, Kandas can be found teaching small business owners how she grew her custom furniture business by replacing traditional advertising with an Appreciation Marketing System.