By Shantini Munthree
- Gratitude is the first step to healing.
When I have gone through difficult times, I have found that it is easy to stew in anger and resentment. That serves no-one. Instead, I have learned to write down or say out loud the things I am grateful for on a daily basis. It’s like a little internal fire-starter that changes one’s innermost feelings, then our bodily chemistry, then our mental occupation and ultimately our actions.
In the business world, I’ve found my best work is during difficult times for the brands we work on. This year has taken its toll on them, testing their reputation with customers, suppliers and staff. Brands who invested in strategy work have navigated these times more easily as they had guide rails on how show gratitude to all of these constituents authentically and lean on them as they pivoted at this time. In fact, some of our clients will emerge stronger.
- Gratitude is best appreciated in contrast.
There is this little exercise that some teachers adopt with their young students called Rose, Thorn, Bud. It’s a daily or weekly check-in of gratitude. The Rose is the good thing that happened, the Thorn is the not so great thing that happened and the Bud is something to look forward to. It’s a clever way to begin and end with gratitude while acknowledging the sad moments for them. This contrast is a great coping tool and never fails to pick kids’ moods up. We can all adopt this for family dinner time.
In business, I am always suspicious of marketing that touts superiority without the not-for-some insights. Think of those products that only show favorable reviews. Contrast actually highlights the real gratitude of customers and delivers useful information for those that would be disappointed by purchasing your product or service. At this moment in time, all businesses have had some difficulties. Those who have been open and willing to be flexible will retain more loyalty across the board.
- Gratitude is the twin to generosity.
In a world of givers and takers, we all know the devastating effects of imbalance either way. So, if gratitude is the opening to receive then generosity is the opening to give. It is this balance that allows us to engage with others in a healthy way. Over time, I think both gratitude and generosity should be as intuitive a daily practice as eating or drinking.
In business, I think the best companies are those that show gratitude and generosity intuitively. It shows up in the pride of the frontline worker. Think of all those COVID heroes who came into the spotlight during this time. Our attention and our expression of gratitude may help fuel them through trying times. Anyone who has run a marathon will tell you that the cheers are sometimes what gets one through the race. Gratitude is a receiving energy that helps motivate people to give – their talent, their time – and in these times, sometimes their lives.
Shantini Munthree is author of the best-seller Love + Fear: Mastering the Primal Motives of Buyers and Managing Partner BRANDKIND MARKETING. She describes her company this way: BRANDKIND is a strategic marketing company that builds brands to love and last. With experience on some of the world’s leading brands spanning five continents and 11 industries, we prepare you for brand restages strategy changes, M&A targets, and new launches. We serve enterprises, growth phase businesses, and late-stage startups. BRANDKIND’s simple, proven approach to brand strategy pays off for years to come.
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