You probably have heard (or maybe even tell others!) about the importance of gratitude. It both helps to put us in a positive mindset and helps us build relationships by showing others they’re appreciated. Today is a reminder to harness the power of gratitude for your business.
Today’s Action Step: Write an email or even a handwritten note thanking a person you admire for something specific.
We all know that we should be laying the ground work for strong relationships and “digging our well before we’re thirsty,” as business author and master networker Harvey Mackay puts it. No one likes someone who comes around asking for retweets or an introduction out of the blue when they haven’t done anything for us. So don’t be that person. Take a few minutes now, think of someone who’s amazed you lately or who you’ve always admired, and write a paragraph or two to say thanks. Do it just to make that person feel good, without any agenda in mind for tomorrow or next month.
I know one person who actually makes this part of his morning routine. Every day when he gets up, he writes someone a thank you note.
Don’t rush through it – if this is someone who gets a lot of praise from others, your note will be more likely to get lost in the shuffle and could come across as kissing up. If you actually take a few extra minutes to speak from the heart and be specific, it will make a huge difference. Try not to sound like you’re obediently writing to your Great-Aunt Sarah to thank her for the tenth birthday present with your mom hovering behind you. There are lots of thank you note templates on the web – avoid them. Instead, check out the stellar examples here and here. Or you might get inspiration from this NPR piece about a man who wrote a thank you note every day in 2008.
Extra credit: Rather than thank someone who may be in a position to help your business sometime soon, choose the opposite sort of person. Thank the guy who makes your sandwich every day, an intern or customer support person at a company you buy from, or your cleaning lady. It will make the most impact for them if you thank that person via their boss. Will that make a difference for your networking? Probably not, but if you’re feeling down it can give you a boost by pulling someone up with you.