By Colette Carlson
It’s that time of year again!
Caught between candy bars and cranberries, we might overlook the true theme of this month: gratitude. Gratitude not only transforms how we see ourselves, but the way we view and interact with people around us.
For those of us in business who are constantly relating to others-fellow employees and potential clients alike, making time to pay gratitude forward pays off big-time. And there’s no time like the present.
Stand out and beat the traditional holiday show of appreciation. Rather than waste the next few days of opportunity, choose instead to immediately share your gratitude with customers, clients and colleagues. Stop wasting time telling yourself everyone is too busy to connect, and get busy connecting!
1. A 2014 study published in Emotion found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to want an ongoing relationship with you. This can lead to new opportunities. Rather than a generic thank you to a new project partner, why not send off a sincere and specific note of gratitude for their contribution?
2. According to Bain & Company, retaining current customers is 6 to 7 times less costly than acquiring new ones. Showing appreciation makes you memorable and reminds clients of your service. Pick up the phone and call your clients to express how much you value their relationship. For greater impact, share a story that supports your words.
3. Happiness researcher Shawn Achor suggests writing one, quick email every morning thanking or praising a member on your team. Ironically, this habit increases your joy and lowers your stress making you an unexpected benefactor.
Bottom line, it’s hugely important to honestly recognize other peoples’ contributions. Think how it feels when someone gives you appreciation for something you’ve done. Everyone can benefit from a high-five now and again.
Gratitude costs nothing, but obtaining and maintaining it fosters more and stronger connections with others. Really, there’s no better season to reach out to people in or out of your circle with appreciation and a new sense of thankfulness. Who knows? They just might remember the kindness when choosing their next business associate.
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