A Culture of Gratitude
When good work is done right, it’s typical to hear a thank you as an act of politeness. However, its two simple words that can often be under appreciated, disregarded in a time of need or provided with loose value. Without showing appreciation to our customers and clients, we cease to exist, when all it takes is a solid thanks to keep them the loyal consumer they’ve always been.
I make it a point, whether I’m designing or hired as a consultant to recognize my individual clients for everything they are. If they provide feedback in a timely manner, or have a creative suggestion, I make sure to recognize their efforts. When they create content that makes me take a second look, I tell them. It’s the thank you’s that go beyond “good job”, “you did great”. It’s the thank you’s that are spontaneous, from the heart and filled with praise. Your clients work hard at their job and they may not be getting the kudos they deserve, so what’s wrong with you providing it?
Cultivate gratitude in these five ways:
Simply say thank you – that’s all it really takes, no explanation necessary. Time your thank you while the person is in the act, or minutes after and let them revel in the moment for all that it is.
Learn to appreciate the small things – the tasks that seem routine like filling the coffee pot when it runs empty, or a courtesy email on a design change are all things that often go unnoticed but are usually deserving of a simple thanks!
Dedicate the time – in a culture of gratitude, it’ll become routine to contribute the mere seconds it takes to acknowledge the work of others, but in some cases you may need practice. Take a 5 minute break from your to do list, stretch and think of how someone has impacted your day in a positive way, then thank them.
Keep it personal with handwritten notes – after every project I write my client a thank you note for their time spent working with me and the constructive growth it has led my business through. It’s also part of the whole “dedicating time” statement addressed above.
Let others know – in a blog post about your lastest client project, include personal details on how easy they were to work with or the creativity that spurred from a conversation. If you’re working with a certain employee be sure to let their bosses know how helpful they were in hopes they’ll thank their employee too.
Working for myself, I take full advantage of the opportunities provided to generate a culture of gratitude. It's the small courtesies that rightly create a powerful response in others. In theory I hope it escapes the bounds of my small business model and provides a surge of positive change in the lives of others and encourages you to follow suit!