May 2014 – Living With Gratitude
Definition: Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
I will jump right to the business benefits for those of you that might think gratitude is irrelevant to work and you might skip reading this…..Research shows that customers who were called and thanked for their business (without any attempt to sell more to them) showed 70% increase in purchases versus no increase for those not called (and only 30% increase for those called, thanked, and told about a sale). (Carey, J. R., Clicque, S. H., Leighton, B. A., & Milton, F. Journal of Marketing, 40) Other studies indicate the same – people thanked for their patronage, especially more frequent customers, spend more. That expression of gratitude can be as simple as a thank you phone call, a card or personalized words written on an invoice.
In terms of working with people in organizations many studies document the benefit of gratitude for employees – showing appreciation to your employees and teams improves performance, they are more productive and loyal. So recognize the good work people do, spend more time praising and thanking (being specific) good employees rather than time punishing low performers. (Read The Wall Street Journal November 20, 2012 on-line article on appreciation for data). .
And living with gratitude isn’t about appreciating people so you get more from them in the future, although that might be a benefit. It’s about having the internal attitude or feeling of appreciation for them as human beings and what they bring to what they do and who they are. So if you can’t express the appreciation to the person (the action of gratitude) at least feel it inside yourself (the attitude of gratitude).This internal feeling of gratitude is also linked to better wellbeing for you – lower heart rate, less stress and better coping skills.
Personally I am living with gratitude this year. It works at work, in personal relationships, with kids, and with yourself. I’m very grateful for all the things in my life (and I don’t mean just the material things) – the friends, the support, the amazing clients and their courage, the referrals for new business and the fun in so many ways! I’m also grateful for the challenges – the things that help me grow personally and professionally, that stretch me often beyond what I think I can do or be. I’m also grateful for what is to come that I can’t even anticipate.
Write down 10 things/people/situations in your life for which you are grateful. Note your feeling at the end of that exercise.
What could you do to live the action and attitude of gratitude this week?
Live Your Potential!