The Power of Gratitude While Networking
Did you know that expressing gratitude an emotion integral to happiness, health, and social bonds strengthens our sense of connection to other people?! Yes, it’s true.
Committing to simple yet powerful acts of gratitude can have profound impacts not only our own levels of happiness but perhaps more importantly on the relationships we have with others.
Statistics show time and time again that the more people give, whether it's their time, money, or simply act as a sounding board, the happier they are. And when people network with the mindset of, "How can I help/serve others" they not only help others find more opportunities, but they also report feeling more confident and seem to get what they need as well.
According to the article, Neuroscience Reveals How Gratitude Literally Changes Your Brain to be Happier, regularly expressing gratitude literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. And gratitude is the most effective practice for stimulating feelings of happiness.
I’m a big believer that networking is an opportunity to have a mindset of, “What can I give or do for someone else, not just how am I going to benefit from this event, conference or meeting this person.” Incorporating various acts of gratitude into your networking goals will enable you to have this mindset and truly see and feel the endless benefits that strategic networking offers.
The season of 'giving' is here and there's no better way to sharpen your networking skills than to learn new and scientifically proven ways to give while networking. Here are three ways to incorporate gratitude into your networking plans, enjoy!
Gratitude & Networking Idea #1: Show Gratitude Towards the Person You See in the Mirror - Yourself!
We can all be kinder to ourselves and in turn we’re likelier nicer, more patient and more understanding of others. Networking, building relationships and conducting business development is hard so if we can start out each day by saying nice things to ourselves, we set ourselves up to have stronger and healthier relationships with others.
● Challenge - Tomorrow morning set a reminder on your phone to take note of what your internal voice says as you’re getting up, dressed and ready for the day. Don’t be alarmed if you catch yourself saying negative things about your worth, your appearance or you’ve already found something to be negative about and you haven’t even left the house! After you’ve heard your typical dialogue challenge yourself to change or improve one thought into something positive and ideally something you’re grateful about in regards to the person you are and/or working to become! Do this every day for at least 30 days and I’m confident that you’ll be happier and those around you will be as well.
Gratitude & Networking Idea #2: Write a thank you card to one person each day before you do anything else!
Set a timer for 10-min and write down a list of everyone who has helped you get to where you are professionally. This might seem hard but trust me once you start you’ll be amazed at how many people have supported you, whether they’re personal, professional or a mix of contacts, and how big of a list you’ll be able to create. From that list commit to starting each day by expressing your gratitude to one person on your list and list specific examples of how they enabled you to get to where you are today.
● Challenge - Grab a pen and actually write thank you cards! I know it’s a lot easier to send an email and probably more time efficient too, but trust me there’s something so special to receive a handwritten card. I’ll be honest, I’m really not a big fan of automated cards that use a printed version of one’s handwriting or signature...in fact I hate them. I think there’s nothing more impersonal than those types of cards and services. That being said, everyone needs to do what’s best for them and at the end of the day something is better than nothing!
Gratitude & Networking Idea #3:Express a sincere and genuine ‘thank you’ to everyone you meet while networking regardless of potential future opportunities.
One of the most common questions I get asked is, “How can I get out of a networking conversation where I feel stuck and it’s not a good use of my time?” My answer is simple, look the person in the eyes, genuinely thank the person for their time and if there’s something else relevant that you learned from them etc, shake their hand and exit. There’s no reason to waste your time in a conversation that isn’t symbiotic and there’s always an opportunity to express gratitude and leave them with a high class impression that you’re a civil, well mannered adult who knows how to respect others while also respecting their own time and needs.
Bonus Gratitude & Networking Idea: Keep a gratitude journal or use an app that helps track your happiness.
There are endless studies that show committing time and energy towards self reflection in regards to gratitude and happiness result in happier and healthier people. Taking 5-minutes each day, whether it’s the first thing you do or the last thing you do before your head hits your pillow find a time that works for your and commit.
● Challenge yourself to identify 5 or 10 things a day you’re grateful for or that are part of your happiness ‘recipe’ and then take it one step further and answer the follow the question, “What role did I play in this or why is this something I’m grateful for or specifically how has this thing/person/action etc. supported my happiness?”
● If you’re looking for some technology to help you with this check out this article that highlights The Best 11 Apps to Track Your Happiness in 2018.
Well there you go friends, four ways that you can partner gratitude with networking or with any aspect of your life if you’re ready to feel happier and build stronger relationships. Cheers to each and everyone of you for all of your support and I wish you nothing but success and joy for the rest of 2018!
#NetworkingWorks #inspired5280 #Grateful