“Gratitude is the greatest of virtues and the parent of all the others.” Cicero
Our relationships with people in our life matter the most, but are too often unwittingly neglected. When was the last time you expressed your gratitude for someone?
It may come naturally for you in terms of your clients, such as sending end of year thank you letters to go out to all of your clients expressing how grateful you are for them and how you wouldn’t have the business you have if it weren’t for them, etc. But what would it look like if you expressed the same level of gratitude for your team members as you did for your clients?
It can be easy to lose sight of gratitude internally due to the demands, responsibilities, and pressures of running a financial planning firm. However, gratitude is an important ingredient to creating a thriving culture where people want to be. Here are some ways you can create a culture of gratitude:
- Telling them directly you are grateful for them.
- Giving them your undivided attention when they are talking to you.
- Compliment them on something they have done or something about them you admire.
- Bring back lunch for them if you go out and they are still at office working.
- Be interested in them as people and about their lives.
These may seem trivial and, frankly, silly to some of you, but the little things do matter when it comes to gratitude. If you are finding yourself having a hard time doing this, maybe you have the wrong people on your team. Or it could be your own mindset which you need to address first.
A good starting point is that if you haven’t expressed gratitude to yourself, start there, or it can be a roadblock to sharing it with others. Here are some ideas on how to show yourself gratitude as we approach the holiday season:
- If someone compliments you, don’t say ‘oh, it is nothing’ or ‘no problem’. Instead, show your gratitude for the kind words and simply thank them.
- List all the good things you have done and people you have helped.
- Compliment yourself – maybe it is just a sticky note on your computer that says ‘I’m good at helping people’ ????
- Let yourself enjoy a hobby or passion you normally don’t have time for.
- Be kind to yourself even if you didn’t achieve all your goals.
Here are some examples of changes I have made recently for myself, that have helped tremendously:
Professional – saying I “get” to versus I “got” to. When I started approaching everything as an opportunity instead of a time-consuming distraction, it has helped me have a more positive outlook and be in the right frame of mind to express gratitude to others!
Personal – telling my children each day that I am grateful for them and am glad I get to be their Dad. I thought this every day subconsciously, but realized I could be doing a better job of saying it and they, not only need to see it from my actions, but also hear it from me often.
If you already had all of this figured out, great! Keep it up, your family, friends and co-workers will be grateful that you did. If you find yourself struggling with these concepts, take some time to show yourself gratitude first then work to effectively express it to others.
The New Planner Recruiting Team