Archive for the ‘ Gratitude ’ Category

Random Acts of Gratitude

“Watch out. The bridge is all ice.” The neon yellow cloaked jogger breathed to me as I passed him. It’s a pretty simple kindness, warning a stranger whom he’ll never see again in his life. Probably a kindness I wouldn’t have offered him if our positions had been reversed. But it’s one that I’ll remember – well, I’ll only remember it because I’ve decided to write these things down.

A friend’s son wrote down his stories from his life as a postal worker. Mundane things. Things that won’t stop global warming or solve the problem of drugs or help end hunger or fix our tax system, but small, seemingly insignificant things that tell a life story. He told stories of making sure you empty your mail boxes so the mail carrier doesn’t have to keep jamming things in the slot. Simple, beautiful acts of kindnesses whose value go unnoticed because one smile is not a movement.

I suggested to a person I’m coaching to practice random acts of gratitude. Like a random act of kindness, it won’t create a top performing team, or increase your profit margin by several percentage points, or produce a strategic plan, but it will change the energy level of the recipient. We, and by that I mean business consultants, design and create huge change models and demonstrate how our plans will have a solid and enduring impact on the future of your business. Often these are elaborate models and plans with flow charts and flow graphics and white papers.

The truth is, practicing random acts of gratitude is far more influential than any big change model that has ever been written. Implement random acts of gratitude, and your customers will feel appreciated, your co-workers will enjoy each other, your leadership team will notice what makes a difference and your company will blossom. OK, that’s a little too over the top, but it is the first and most important step to valuing the people around you.

Valuing people may be more important than engaging people. I’ll sleep on that and you let me know what you think.

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