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How to make a gratitude list — and check it twice

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Stock image/Depositphotos

Stock image/Depositphotos

Stock image/Depositphotos

And just like that (not to quote the title of the new Sex and the City reboot, because you may or may not be surprised, I was never a big fan of the series in the first place), but anyway, just like that, here we are, dear readers, at the final Sunday before Christmas. It’s the perfect time for my annual ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ edition.

Research indicates the benefits of cultivating gratitude include improved relationships, mental and physical health and self-esteem. So, get out your own pad and paper, folks. Let’s make a list.

WORK FROM HOME FLEXIBILITY

I’m starting with this one because unlike 2020, which saw many of us reeling from the startling abruptness of pandemic lockdown which forced us to run businesses online, at this point most of us have settled into a rhythm.

Obviously, not all companies can work from home.

I don’t need to point out manufacturing plants, hospitality and more. But for those of us who made the pivot, I think we can be grateful.

I have virtually coached more business professionals from more far-flung places over this past year than ever would have been possible had I been required to meet them face to face. In addition, I marvelled last week as I led workshops for Oracle Asia, KPMG Philippines, Zalando Germany and Airbnb in North America — all on a single day and not once stepping outside my front door.

It’s still true that being in-person provides more connecting communications and impact. But I will celebrate the fact that we’ve learned virtual interactions can also support.

CLIENTS

You can’t run a business if you don’t have customers and customer appreciation should be an ongoing, year-round focus. But especially here at the holiday season.

Remember, if they had a good experience with you, they will refer your service or products to others. As Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

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CO-WORKERS PART 1

From sales executives to videographers, graphic artists, technical designers and a marketing team, I run a small business, folks.

We’ve managed to increase business by 50pc over the past year and I have only seen one of those people in person, when I was able to meet up with my wonderful assistant Julia for lunch earlier this month.

To each of you who have virtually interviewed, been hired or promoted during the past year, give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back. If you’ve managed and cared for teams through a laptop screen, bravo.

To my team: David, Ruslan, Fuchsia, Wolfe, Eoin, Shane, Julia and Simon, a heartfelt thank you. Together, we are impacting lives.

CO-WORKERS PART 2

A special note to the hard-working editors and sub-editors here at my beloved host paper, The Sunday Independent. Each week, not only does one of you draw the short straw to read through the tangled mess of prose that passes for my column, but you also get to play another round of the word-search game: “Spot What Gina Spelled in American English and not in Irish English”.

You’d think after four years of adding “u’s” to words like “colour” and “flavour” and substituting “s’s” for “z’s” in words like “recognise” and “criticise”, I’d have it figured out. But last week, a corrected spelling leapt out at me. I realised, to my ongoing embarrassment, an ace-editor discovered yet another error I had made. I mistakenly spelled “chequered” the American way, “checkered” — which aptly describes my writing career. For that and much more, a big thank you to the beleaguered editing team.

READERS

I couldn’t do it without you wonderful people.

For instance, I am grateful for the many detail-oriented readers who asked me to reveal the name of the book to which I referred last week. If you don’t recall, I mentioned a client who sent copies of a book to his team for Christmas.

The book meant a lot to him and everyone promised they’d read it.

On page 112 of each person’s book, my client wrote a note, “When you get here, let me know and I’ll give you a thousand dollars.” No one responded. Great lesson and great book. But I forgot to include its name. It’s (ironically?) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni.

I’m also grateful to those who clip copies of my column and pass them along to their kids. Or those who go the extra mile like the mam of recent Masters graduate Neil Dennehy who wrote asking if I could provide him a bit of career coaching.

We worked on interview and networking skills and just this past Monday, I received the nicest Christmas card from Neil who is now working at CPL.

Thank you, all.

Okay, how’s your own list? No matter what has come your way during the past 12 months, there are always things for which we can be thankful.

Give thanks to co-workers, managers, healthcare providers, friends, family members and loved ones (thank you, Lulu and Damien), neighbours (thank you, Castle Court crew), your postal carrier (thank you, Tony), your dog-walker, (thank you, Wendy), and anyone else who has made your life a little easier over the past twelve months.

It will do you — and them — good.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Write to Gina in care of sundaybusiness@independent.ie.

With corporate clients on five continents, Gina London is a premier communications strategy, structure and delivery expert. She is also a media analyst, author, speaker and former CNN anchor. @TheGinaLondon


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