Minimalist Manager Challenge Part 6: Gratitude Day

For task 6 in my #MinimalistManager journey, I explored opportunities to show gratitude.

In this post, you will hear what I learned about expressing gratitude, what surprised me, and the profound effect it had on me personally and professionally.

A Little Background…

The concept of Minimalist Management has a core philosophy where we reduce our reliance on unneeded things and increase our appreciation of the world around us.

I believe there are 4 main focus areas that can make it successful:

  • Care for Self
  • Organize Surroundings
  • Prioritize Time
  • Help Others

As with my previous posts, I will use a Post-Mortem Evaluation to analyze today’s task in order to identify the root causes of actions to avoid as a business owner.

A Post-Mortem has 4 parts:

  1. what happened
  2. what went well
  3. what didn’t go well, and
  4. how we can adjust for the future

Check out my first post to find out WHY I decided to start this challenge in the first place.

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Autumn is here, and it’s time for a new #minimalistmanager challenge! I’ll be experiencing tasks that get me closer to business goals, even if it’s uncomfortable… like eating #nosugar (tomorrow’s objective) 🍭🛑. Want to join me? Here’s how: . . . Pick 9 activities that feel slightly uncomfortable but move you toward your goals in four areas: • Care for Self • Organize Surroundings • Prioritize Time • Help Others If you own a business, consider ways to stretch yourself as an owner. Set aside a period of time to work on your challenge (I recommend 9 to 15 days). Write down your challenge tasks. Each day, pick one card out of a hat 🎩. [I scheduled 15 days with 9 activities; the extra days are to recognize and celebrate growth, or consider why it didn’t go so well.] I’ll be posting updates about my challenge here: https://laconteconsulting.com/blog Join me, and let me know what you learn about yourself!

A post shared by Grace LaConte (@lacontestrategy) on

The full list

Watch my video here, which explains the steps I took and how it went.


 

Part 6 of My Challenge: Send Thank-You Notes

Essential Area

This task fits into one category:

  • Care for Self
  • Organize Surroundings
  • Prioritize Time
  • Help Others

By considering the communication style and needs of those who have helped me, it allowed me to understand them better.

This task also gave me an opportunity to tangibly share my appreciation in a way I rarely get to do.

Post-Mortem Evaluation

Here is a summary of how this task went.

1. What happened

So what happened in this challenge?

  1. I sent hand-written, old-fashioned mailed thank-you cards to nine people who have had a positive influenced on my business.
  2. Each note was personalized and included specific examples of how the person has helped me.
  3. In the process, I considered each person’s Language of Appreciation (which I will describe below).

2. What went well

The best thing about this task was that I actually spent time and energy thinking about how others have contributed to my business.

As I explain in the video, my name (Grace) means “thankful spirit.” Years ago, one of my favorite activities was writing to several pen pals. This involved sending hand-written letters to someone who usually lived far away, and in turn receiving their response several days or weeks later.

Nowadays, I don’t write nearly as many physical notes. So it felt good to get out the cards and envelopes, address labels, and stamps and get back into writing and sending out my thoughts.

3. What didn’t go well

One thing I absolutely did not expect during this process was the emotional toll it took.

Communicating gratitude requires us to dive into a deep part of who we are and how we receive things. We cannot truly express thankfulness until we accept what others give—whether that is

  1. Acts of Service
  2. Words of Affirmation
  3. Quality Time
  4. Tangible Gifts, or
  5. Physical Touch
appreciation, Languages of Appreciation, 5 Languages of Appreciation, Love Languages, 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, Dr. Gary Chapman, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, physical touch, acts of service
The 5 Languages of Appreciation

I also did not expect this task to take so much time. My hand got a cramp after writing just 3 cards, so it took a lot longer to physically write to all 9 people.

And finding their mailing address was also a challenge, since several had moved or I had never written a letter to them before.

4. How I can adjust for the future

Because of the intensity of my emotion over this activity (as it seemed to be for every task!), in the future I would make a changes:

  • spend time contemplating how the person made a difference to me
  • stay in closer touch with individuals who are important, instead of just sending a card once every few years
  • keep track of the Language of Appreciation of each new client (I already recommend StrengthsFinder; read more FAQs about working with me)
  • look for creative and simple ways to show gratitude every day

Summary

This particular activity helped me to realize how important it is to receive appreciation (a Yin energy) as well as to give it (a Yang energy). Instead of writing a flimsy note like “thanks for being you,” I found it much more significant to think of the specific ways that person contributed to my growth.

In the future, I definitely want to send more hand-written notes and other gifts to show my clients and other supporters my thankfulness.

 

If you want to discuss some practical ways to move your business toward your goals, let’s talk.


Follow my #MinimalistManager journey:

Stay tuned for the next installment, which is the No Online Browsing day!


Grace LaConte is a Strategic Risk Expert who helps service business owners find and fix hidden risks that keep them from achieving long-term success. Using her experience as a Risk Officer in the healthcare and technology fields, Grace shares a refreshingly honest approach to uncovering hidden risks and opportunities. Learn more at http://laconteconsulting.com, or connect with her on Twitter @lacontestrategy.

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