One of our company values at Audacia Strategies is “Relationships Matter: It’s not ‘just business.’ It’s about people working together toward a common goal. We bring respect, honesty, and candor to the table every time.” This week, as we pause to reflect on everything and everyone that make us feel grateful, let’s specially consider the business relationships that too often go unrecognized.
In business, as in life, it is relationships that are the most important. While it is easy to be grateful for business relationships that are simple and especially lucrative, when it comes to those relationships that take a little more effort, feeling the appropriate level of appreciation can be difficult.
What are the benefits of being grateful?
Expressing gratitude makes you happier.
The next time you are having trouble mustering up appreciation for clients who treat every project like it’s an emergency or investors who question every piece of advice you offer, keep in mind that a little bit of gratitude can go a long way.
Research shows that being grateful makes you happier. Having an attitude of gratitude really is a choice we can make. And while there’s more to genuine gratitude than saying a distracted “thanks,” we often do underestimate the value of a heartfelt “thank you.”
Expressing gratitude can affect your bottom line.
Given that feeling grateful makes you happier, it’s also not surprising that others are more likely to want to work with those who adopt a habit of expressing gratitude. There is also research showing that being truly grateful can have a meaningful impact on your bottom line.
According to one survey, 90% of financial advisors who made an effort to regularly thank clients experienced greater success than those who were less consistent in expressing appreciation for their business relationships.
Expressing gratitude brings others to the table.
Beyond the personal benefits of expressing gratitude, it also uplifts those to whom you express gratitude. We all know how nice it feels have someone else acknowledge the effort and work we put into a project. This is no less important when you are working toward a common goal with your team.
Being grateful for the work that others do is especially important in cases where you know you will be interacting with the same individual or group multiple times, which is in most cases. Thankfulness invites others to the table and engages them as a vital part of the team.
So, in the spirit of feeling gratitude during the season of reflection, let’s take some time out to remember those business relationships that we sometimes take for granted:
1. Your financial planning and analysis (FP&A) team.
This team works hard all year to crank through your business data, strategize, and manage your corporate forecast. In addition to creating your organization’s extended financial plan, FP&A departments also generate management reports, analyze financial trends, calculate the monetary effects of potential business decisions, and advise company leaders.
When it comes to getting your budget done, managing earnings, and reporting on whether you are hitting your goals, where would your company be without this team of individuals?
2. Your most challenging client.
We all deal with difficult clients from time to time—when you see his number on the caller ID, you have to take a deep breath and review the meditation methods your yoga teacher taught you.
Even if worrying about this client keeps you up at night and makes you question your career choices, this client also pushes you to work harder and provide more value than you thought possible. Challenges are what keep us on our toes and keep things interesting. So, send that client a special note expressing your appreciation.
3. Your most challenging investor or analyst.
Being stuck in our own perspective for too long can give us tunnel vision. In these situations, anyone who can help us see our company in a different way is a huge asset. This is the value that a challenging investor or analyst can provide.
These individuals might not always express their feedback in the most constructive way, but if you have a tough skin, you can really learn a lot from them. As long as you remember that the criticism isn’t personal, this kind of challenge can help you and your extended team better articulate your messages and evaluate your business strategy.
4. Your spouse, significant other, best friend, etc.
All of those who listen as you talk through your work “dirt” are crucial to helping you stay grounded. When you have a hard day at the office, nothing is more comforting than being able to come home to someone who loves and supports you unconditionally. Hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you whenever possible.
5. The Service Professionals Who Make Our Lives Easier.
Last, but not least, there are service professionals and other support personnel who work extra hard to give you the time to focus on what is important to you on a daily basis.
I’m talking about the local barista who knows you take your triple-shot mocha latte with soy milk and extra whipped cream. Or the waitress at your favorite lunch spot who makes sure your dressing always comes on the side. When was the last time you took an extra second out of your day to make eye contact and say “thank you?”
At Audacia Strategies, we make a special effort to live up to our company values and cultivate strong business relationships. I want to extend the deepest gratitude to all our clients (who are never challenging), friends, and family for their continued support over the past year.
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