As children, we are taught to say “Please” and “Thank you”, show kindness to those less fortunate, and lift up our hearts to a higher being to show our gratitude for the opportunity to create on this earth. While I enjoy gathering with family, enjoying good food, cheer & laughs, I often wonder why the reminder. Now, I know my history for which our ancestors celebrated the harvest with community. It is simply something we should think about everyday; giving thanks to all who come across our path. The title of this article may be a bit counter to the posts we see on social media and the news, but I look at things differently for which I’m grateful for a moment or two of your time.
Almost every email or social media post, I thank the person for the information they shared with me or something about the conversation we had. When we lead with gratitude, human nature reciprocates much faster than the alternative. In this fast paced environment, this is one of my super tools to get faster responses.
I was in a meeting recently for which I was new and the leader spent extra time giving me context for the meeting. I did not want to embarrass the person as I was fully briefed on the issue. Instead, I thanked them for the context, that I was previously briefed and I wanted to yield to those who came to resolve issues and I would catch up with them later to fill in the blanks. The leader was keenly interested in me for which we scheduled a 1-2-1 right after that meeting. Gratitude resulted in faster human connection.
My schedule constantly fills up with networking opportunities for which I often have to delete meetings that don’t serve me at that time. Recently I canceled a meeting due to other priorities, but I thanked the person for their professional relationship and would maintain them in my referral database. While I may not have an immediate need to connect, I’ve shown gratitude for which we maintain the relationship and may be top of mind in the future.
What came easy as a child to show thanks should come easy everyday; not only as humans we have a duty to connect, but in business it can make things so much easier. Unfortunately or fortunately, showing consistent gratitude sets you apart as a leader for which others will follow.
Now take a moment and reflect on your encounters and evaluate how often you express gratitude to others? Could you add 1-2 more each day to build up this skill? What would the next and the next day look like? Would it get easier? And what might the impact be in terms of relationships?
For me, it is paying dividends as people I’ve met over the last 2 years while we don’t engage constantly periodically reach out to me and say “Deb, do you have a moment?”.
Let me know showing gratitude has been of value to you; and remember we can celebrate Thanksgiving everyday!
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- The Drop In CEO podcast, my blog and my book, The CEO’s Compass can be great resources for you to navigate challenges with confidence
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