Posting by Stewart Christ, MBA, Principal at BMC Associates
Thanksgiving is a wonderful season when we reserve time with our families to celebrate the many gifts that we have received. Contemplating and expressing gratitude, individually and as a group, has many powerful benefits including increased energy levels, empathy, and optimism. Research has further determined that expressing gratitude can improve our physical health and emotional health and the health of our personal partnerships.
In her TED talk, Dr. Laura Trice told a similar story: “The father told everybody else that he was proud of him, but he never told the son. It’s because he didn’t know that his son needed to hear it. So my question is, why don’t we ask for the things that we need?” I suggest that we do more than just express our gratitude to others. I suggest that we give others permission to seek our approval and gratitude.
Gratitude also holds power in our business lives. Most successful businesses are not the creation of an individual but the consequence of the effort and dedication of multiple business partners. These business partners may include co-founders, family members, valued employees, and a wide range of other contributors. An essential element of a healthy business partnership is the recognition of our partner’s contributions. Actively recognizing our partner’s contributions and successes—and expressing our gratitude for them—can also improve the health of our businesses and the underlying relationships.
So, during this Thanksgiving season and going forward, let’s take the time to contemplate our own feelings of gratitude, express our feelings of appreciation to our partner(s), and even thank ourselves! It is also timely to recall a reflection on gratitude by John F. Kennedy: “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”