Gratitude has taken centre stage during the COVID19 pandemic. We have seen it demonstrated beautifully for all essential workers, the world over – the songs, the applause, the messages of thanks and free coffees! I am certain that on days when essential workers didn’t want to face another day in the “trenches” that they tapped into the world’s gratitude to energise them and keep them returning day after day to fight COVID19 (despite putting themselves and their families at risk daily).
Over my years in business, I have found that the small and simple acts of feeling and expressing gratitude, can also yield amazing results for your business.
Gratitude is powerful. The Oxford dicitionary defines it as “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness” So there are two distinct parts to gratitude:
- Show appreciation (acknowledgement)
- Return kindness (act)
Inspired by a gratitude mind map I came across from UK brand agency Bulldog Drummond, I produced a Business Gratitude Map for business owners to use with their teams. The Business Gratitude Map involves us taking two key steps
- Acknowledgement (through reflection)
- Taking Action
Firstly, get your team together and with a hot cuppa in hand and fresh minds (a good exercise to do first thing in the morning) complete your business gratitude mind map.
Step One – Acknowledgement through reflection
Start by taking stock of your current situation, acknowledge your business strengths and most importantly of all, recognise the people who have played a significant role in your success.
During this process, ask the following questions
- What strengths do we have in each area?
- What are we grateful for?
- How can we leverage this strength to make you even stronger?
Reflecting with gratitude, open’s our eyes to our strengths and the opportunities to leverage those strengths. It’s particularly important to do this exercise with a mindset of abundance (what you do have and can leverage) rather than what you don’t have.
Focussing on what we don’t have limits us to not only identifying what is wrong with the business but also ignoring/forgetting all the wonderful work you and your team have done to build it to the great business of today. Remember, your business, like Rome, was not built in a day so acknowledging your achievements, over time is key to helping you move forward!
During a crisis like COVID 19 it is very easy to jump onto the “pivot” train however in most cases, we need to leverage our strengths rather than make knee jerk decisions that are not in alignment with our purpose.
Furthermore, reflecting on our achievements also quells our fears around the future and gives us and our teams the fuel and confidence we need to handle whatever situation comes our way.
Step Two – Action
The best way to demonstrate gratitude is through ACTION.
Ask how can we express this gratitude?
- What action can you take, no matter how small, to demonstrate your gratitude?
- Who can you help?
- How can you use your strengths to help others?
Make a list of all your actions then prioritise what you will act on, when and who is responsible for each action.
Commit and hold each other accountable in your weekly meetings and record the outcomes. When we make acting with gratitude a regular occurrence in our business, we set the foundation of a culture where our teams and partners can all flourish by lifting each other up and ultimately benefiting from each other’s success. We ultimately build stronger relationships that inspire people to continue to act with purpose and continue to improve business outcomes.
Having completed my gratitude map, I decided to tap into my strengths to demonstrate my gratitude and help lift others up. I did this by:
- scheduling complimentary 2020 reset strategy sessions to get back on track
- coaching colleagues and friends struggling with COVID19
- organising group forums to create connection and share my knowledge & experience
- offering tailored templates to assist with planning
Overall the more gratitude we show, the more human connections we make and the more we experience the benefits of collaboration, engagement and innovation across our businesses.
If you would like a copy of the Business Gratitude Map , please email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you a copy.
Always in gratitude