05.03.18

A Grateful Mindset

KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC

Psychology Today (2016 article on why Gratitude Matters) made it clear: “Gratitude is a prerequisite for true happiness.” The article further expresses, “Gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy“.

Each of us could stand to focus more on what we have than what’s lacking. Paying it forward and sharing it with others can make a huge difference in our lives. Who doesn’t need more energy and optimism in this crazy, conmplicated world we live in today?

So much of success hinges on attitude. A grateful attitude matters and can reap positive rewards in both business and personal relationships. In a way, gratitude begets well-being and happiness leading to a more successful and significant life. Taking time to slow down and acknowledge the good things in your life can help you seek out more wins, and help you feel more positive about the future.

But there’s more to it than just positive thinking. Gratitude requires action, too. If you manage people or engage in professional or personal relationships with others (suppliers, strategic partners, mentors, friends etc.), you have opportunities nearly every day to express these sentiments. It’s a win-win, as they say, in this case. That’s because employees who feel appreciated tend to be more productive. Additionally, appreciation, which begets positive morale, is a boon to overall retention. Studies have shown over and over the power of praise and appreciationa in creating emotional connections with your organization.

Consider the interpersonal advantages as well. Building these relationships can help employees trust their supervisors more and feel more compelled to give open and honest feedback, which in turn can bolster engagement with your organization.

But don’t stop here. Referral partners and customers you acknowledge are more likely to continue sharing business with you. When people feel they are valued, they have a favorable impression (and hopefully, an emotional connection) of your company and are more likely to do business again. It could be a simple handwritten note or gift card. Whatever you do, add a personal touch.

I’ll leave you with this thought: Showing gratitude to those around you not only feels great, but it can produce results. You may even find that having a positive attitude increases your productivity, boosts mood and helps your bottom line. Studies show that grateful people tend to live longer than their less grateful peers.

So, start each day with a clean slate and be thankful for the opportunity to begin anew. Be sure to stop a few times during the day to slow down and reflect on the good things in your life. It’s easy to get bogged down by life’s stressors, but we needn’t forget the joys.

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