52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday throughout 2011.
It’s that time of year in the U.S., our season of giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. The Pilgrims kicked it all off when they expressed their gratitude to have survived the ordeals of cross-Atlantic travel and getting settled on these shores, and we continue their celebratory traditions today (even though we’ve added competitive shopping, fried turkey, and the NFL to the mix). So this week, the Potpourri section of 52 Fridays continues with a look at when, and who, it can be a good idea to thank in your own equine business.
Even though I know how much of a difference a ‘gratitude attitude’ has made in my own life and work, I resisted the idea of a ”Thanksgiving’ blog post, thinking that ‘everyone’s doing it’ this week, and so maybe readers would like something different to look over. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be a good idea to include a reminder about the power of a thank you.
In this great non-horsey blog post, Therese J. Borchard writes about 12 Ways To Be Thankful this Thanksgiving, and includes some wonderful quotes about gratitude and ideas for feeling it and spreading it around. She also includes this book resource (in #5 of her list) that reports on the many health benefits of an ‘attitude of gratitude,’ health benefits that included less physical pain, better sleep, and greater connectedness to others as documented in the study by the book’s author, psychologist Robert Emmons.
Another study I discovered about the benefits of gratitude indicated that saying ‘thank you’ to someone validated their help and provided a significant boost in their likelihood to help another in the future, so it appears that just saying thanks is an easy way to pay forward your own positive feelings.
In the horsebiz, we should remember to at least thank our clients, but casting the thank you net a bit wider can result in some interesting benefits.
Improved employee morale: This post at Equimax.com/HorseJobs.ca shows how appreciating employees can have a direct bottom line effect on your public relations, employee turnover, and even client satisfaction. I remember the first horse sale I closed, and my excitement over it; but when I asked the farm manager for an ‘atta girl’ acknowledgement I got a withering look and a cold shoulder. How hard would it have been to celebrate the sale with me? How might doing so have bonded my commitment and increased my enthusiasm?
Increased profits: This theory about employee morale having a bottom line impact was actually explored in a ten-year study involving 200,000 employees and managers; the resulting book The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance shares the insights gained about how the most effective managers lead with carrots, not sticks, how their employees are motivated to excel, and how it translated into profits three times higher than what other, non-acknowledging businesses racked up.
I imagine an aura of gratitude will also have an effect on the horses and other animals a horsebiz touches; don’t you just have more ‘try’ in you when you feel your actions (and you) matter?
In Borchard’s Beyond Blue post about a dozen ways to be thankful, she includes a French proverb: Gratitude is the heart’s memory. Not only do I love this saying, but it has me asking the question that if the horsebiz is one of ‘nickel and dime’ profit margins (thanks, Martha T-H!), and that most of us in the horse world are here because we love it, what would happen if we expressed more of our heart-centered passion for horses by spreading around the thank-yous, all year long?
Do you give thanks? Share your ideas to acknowledge the good via the Comments link below. If you liked this article, you can easily tell others about it via Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, and even by email with the Share button belo. Pssst, pass it along, and see you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #47!
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