Each Friday I pause to consider everything I have to be grateful for. Family, friends, a thriving business, homemade banana-chocolate cream pie. Some wise folks do this exercise every day. Others limit their gratitude to a day here or there such as Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) or when they exchange gifts.
Gratitude is terrific. Warm and fluffy as a cashmere afghan. But how does that one word help your consulting firm?
Five Ways Gratitude Benefits Your Consulting Firm
Strengthens Your Relationships
We are in a human business. People sharing ideas, experience, advice and insights with other people. Our success rests in large measure on our facility with creating strong relationships.
Acknowledging another person strengthens your bond with them. It says, “You’ve made a positive difference in my life.” That message is the ultimate cement between two people.
Mutual appreciation nourishes mutual trust, and trust is the bedrock on which client/consulting firm partnerships are built.
Transforms Your Relationships
Often I lead training sessions for rainmakers at boutique consulting firms. At the end of these sessions, when the accolades and acknowledgements would normally flow to me, I suggest the participants thank their colleagues around the room instead. There’s invariably five heartbeats of utter stillness before folks start offering appreciation to each other with a light chuckle. Why the awkward silence and laughter?
Because giving thanks makes you vulnerable. It conveys you are human and indebted and “inferior” enough to another person that you were able to gain from them. That’s a boatload of vulnerability. But when you drop your guard, you create space for the other person to open up too.
Why is that important? Because reaching out to a consultant to ask for help is an extremely vulnerable act for a prospect. It’s an admission that they need help.
When you are vulnerable with your prospects and clients, you increase the likelihood that they will share their needs (and business) with you.
Makes Networking Painless
Reaching out to our contact list is a necessary, but sometimes excruciating, aspect of business development. If you don’t have anything to say, picking up the phone holds less appeal than being a Wal-Mart greeter on Black Friday.
But when you’re connecting to offer a Thank You, it’s easy. And fun.
No one has ever complained about being appreciated.
Builds Your Confidence
Gratitude and positive outcomes are inextricably linked. You’re thankful for a project because it bolsters your bank account and reduces financial stress. You’re thankful for advice because it helps you succeed.
When you express thanks you are acknowledging something positive in your life. Every Thank You to a colleague or client or mentor is quietly exclaiming, “My business has benefited!” Take a moment to soak up all those business benefits. What does that do for your confidence level?
Plus, when you honor your clients’ and colleagues’ contribution to your business well-being, they frequently will remind you of how you’ve helped them.
Ironically, offering thanks to others will put you in better touch with how you create value in the world.
Creates a Success Habit
Research shows that gratitude sparks happiness and happiness precedes success.
Every day you tap into your gratitude is a day that accelerates your progress.
As I update this annual gratitude article, I have much to be thankful for.
High on the list is the input, support and friendship of consultants around the world. Many I’ve never met, many are new relationships and many have become clients. All, including you, have added value in my life.
Thank you for reading my articles and books. Thank you for making a difference to me and so many others.
Text and images are © 2018 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.