Gratitude is Good

In my newsletter this month I listed a few things for which I’m thankful.  That got me thinking about gratitude, and what it means for business.  Is there any room for it? What end does it serve?  Is it profitable, or was Gordon Gecko right?  

I was not sure that these were the appropriate elements of inquiry, so I did search and some thinking about the point.  My research found that there is room for it, it serves multiple ends, and, if genuine, gratitude can be profitable.

Randy Raggio, a marketing professor at the University of Richmond, found “gratitude motivates positive reciprocal behavior.”  If that is true (and it seems to be at least a logical assumption) then there is risk for the person who first expresses gratitude; it may be ignored or even rejected.  Since there is some vulnerability going first some humility is required.  Forbes discusses Raggio’s research in this article http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/23/why-gratitude-is-good-for-business-year-round/

It also seems to imply that gratitude must be genuine, not like the cheesy rewards program that is really just designed to track your behavior and sell you more stuff.

Finally, gratitude seems to work best when its frequent, or a surprise.  I’m sure that we all have the random act of kindness, forgiveness, help or even kind word that provides meaningful support or simply brightens a day.  As I write this I’m waiting for my daughter’s ACL surgery finish.  While I was waiting I had a sandwich and crumpled up the tin foil packaging.  A fellow passing by held out his hand and offered to throw it away for me.  I was grateful.  (And said even thanks).

In this video Louie Schwartzberg slows us down and reminds us of the importance of noticing and being grateful for all the little things. I hope you enjoy it.  Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. | Video on TED.com

Thanks for reading.

About Chris McGrath

I’m a Carmel, Indiana business attorney providing business counsel, commercial litigation and mediation services based on over 20 years of experience. My firm is founded on a principle of supporting others’ advancement and achievement, and my core values are service, passion, faith & loyalty.Chris McGrath’s Google+ Profile