Gratitude is a communication skill that can build loyalty, serves as a catalyst to connect, and it releases endorphins! Andrea interviews The Currency of Gratitude author Michele Bailey, who shares insights on how to express gratitude in a professional context, how gratitude relates to brand ambassadors, how gratitude relates to reciprocity, whether expressing gratitude makes you sound weak, and some provocative thoughts about work-life balance. 

 

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I have a question for you. What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for? How often do you explicitly express your gratitude? I mean beyond a simple THANK YOU.

 

Welcome to Talk About Talk Podcast Episode #155, where we focus on the power of gratitude. My guest for this episode is an expert on Gratitude. In fact, she literally wrote the book entitled, The Currency of Gratitude. Her name is Michele Bailey. I can’t wait for you to meet her. 

 

You’re going to learn about the benefits of gratitude, how exactly you can express gratitude in a professional or work context. How gratitude relates to brand ambassadors. And how to think about gratitude and reciprocity. And lots more. Including whether expressing gratitude makes you sound weak, and some provocative thoughts about work life balance. 

Are you ready? 

 

Welcome to the Talk About Talk podcast episode number 155, The Power of Gratitude

 

In case we haven’t met, let me introduce myself. My name is Dr. Andrea Wojnicki and I’m your executive communication coach. Please call me Andrea!
I’m the founder of Talk About Talk, where I coach communication skills to ambitious executives like you – to elevate your communication, your confidence and your clarity, so you can establish credibility and then accomplish your career goals.

 

If you go to the TalkAboutTalk.com website, you’ll find many resources to help you out. There’s information there about one-on-one coaching, online courses, some amazing bootcamps that I run every few months, corporate workshops, the archive of this bi-weekly podcast, AND, I really hope you’ll sign up for the Talk About Talk newsletter. That newsletter is your chance to get free communication coaching from me every week. 

 

Alright let’s get into this.

 

You’re about to hear my interview with Michele Bailey on the Currency of Gratitude.  Michele provides a pretty compelling argument for why we should all be communicating gratitude a lot more. And this woman walks her talk.  She is on a mission to thank everyone around her – in a meaningful way, of course, and also to encourage us to do the same. And yes, she literally wrote the book on Gratitude. It’s called “The Currency of Gratitude”. You can find the link in the shownotes.

 

Here’s how this episode is going to go. 1st, I’m going to briefly introduce Michele and then we’re going to get right into the interview. And then at the end, I’m going to summarize with three, yes, of course, ALWAYS! three of the main thoughts or themes that I want to reinforce for us.

 

Alright, let me introduce Michele.

 

Michele Bailey is founder of The Blazing Group, a brand and culture agency that leverages her strategy-first approach to business, her flair for sharing stories, and her desire to enhance employee wellness while pursuing business goals. Her advertising agency, Blazing, is turning branding inside out with “My Big Idea®,” (YES she trademarked that phrase: “My Big Idea”), which is an employee mentoring and wellness program designed to propel personal and professional success. 

In short, Michele and her team have found the formula for creating awesome business cultures that drive exceptional marketing.

Countless companies have discovered greater team cohesion and boosted their bottom-line results as a direct result of Michele’s proprietary process. 

Today though, she is pushes her clients and others to take it one step further; to make true gratitude integral to the way business is done.

As I said, Michele literally wrote the book on Gratitude.  It’s called “The Currency of gratitude.”  It’s published by ForbesBooks, and it’s a great read. You can find a link to the book at the top of the shownotes, under the episode description. Alright let’s hear from Michele.

 

Andrea: Thank you so much, Michele, for being here today to talk with us about the power of gratitude. 

Michele: Andrea, I’m so grateful and appreciative to be with you today. 

Andrea: Great answer. My first question for you is, can you list for us what some of the benefits of gratitude are, either that you’ve experienced, witnessed, or maybe that you’ve read about?

Michele: I’m so grateful and appreciative to be with you today. First of all, it’s an endorphin release. It’s a positive release of endorphins that happen within your brain in your body. And to start your day with gratitude automatically brings joy, calmness, and you will find yourself smiling without even being conscious of it. Because you are giving a positive affirmation, acknowledgement, or appreciation to someone else. It lifts you up without you realizing that you’re being lifted.

Andrea: Right, right. So, as you were answering that, something occurred to me. I remember years ago, reading some research that said, if daily you write down one to three things that you’re grateful for, research shows that your life satisfaction will improve significantly. And I started doing this. But what I hear from you is expressing gratitude to people, right?

Michele: Exactly, Andrea. I talked about writing down the three things you’re grateful for every day, and I don’t want to take anything away from that. But if that brings you a lot of joy, can you imagine what happens when you take that and you send it out to someone else? It magnifies it threefold, fivefold, tenfold. So, I’m on a mission to teach people how easy it is to push gratitude outside of yourself. It has a multiplier effect that’s not just about you.

Andrea: I love that answer. I think it’s absolutely true. As you were saying it, I was thinking, if you express gratitude to one person, it’s not that you’re just doubling it, right? You are creating a multiplier effect. So, in a professional context, what are some specific ways that you express gratitude or that you encourage your clients to do the same?

Michele: Well, I actually have a methodology of seven questions that you answer. If you answer these questions openly and honestly, watch the transformation that happens in your relationships, both professionally and personally. The questions guide you through expressing gratitude in a structured way, making it clear to the other person how they have helped you and why you are acknowledging them. It’s magical.

Andrea: Wow, that is a magical framework. Can you maybe give us a couple of examples of when people using that framework, so you could say you’re thanking a client or you’re thanking an employee? How might it sound?

Michele: With a client, for example, I’ll talk about a gentleman who owns a construction company. I wrote him a gratitude card answering those questions because he taught me a lot by being so hard and tough. His wife came up to me at an event and said that note is framed in his office. It reminds him of the difference he made in some young entrepreneur’s life.

Andrea: Amazing. Speaking of making a difference, gratitude is also a currency. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Michele: Absolutely, Andrea. Gratitude, like currency, needs to be put into circulation to have value. If you hoard it, it diminishes. But if you spend it, give it away, it comes back to you with a mega return. It’s about making sure you are putting it out wherever you feel you should because it does come back to you in the most unexpected ways.

Andrea: That’s fascinating. You’re making me think about a bunch of things. Now, speaking of time, you made a comment in the book about work-life balance. You have a different take on that, and I found it to be very provocative. Can you elaborate on your advice for managing work-life balance?

Michele: I’ve been asked many times about work-life balance, and I say there’s no balance, there’s a blend. There’s an integration. Decide and put aside time to refuel you first. Making sure you’ve got what it takes so you can then turn around and help other people. Plan things out, so you also have carrots to look forward to. It’s about identifying priorities and making rules for yourself.

Andrea: That’s a great insight. Before we move on to the rapid-fire questions, is there anything else you want to add about gratitude and the currency of gratitude?

Michele: In under five minutes, you can change a relationship with someone in your professional or personal life. It takes less than five minutes. Don’t overthink it. Just do it. Just write it, just call them, just email. Under five minutes, and watch what happens.

 

Andrea: Amazing, thank you so much, Michele. I am very grateful for the time and the incredible insights that you shared with me and the listeners. Thank you.

 

Isn’t Michele great?

Thanks again, Michele, for your time and for sharing your insights about gratitude.

Now, as promised, three things I want to point out, that I hope you’ll remember ,about this episode

Their first point is the benefits of gratitude. What’s the upside of sending thank you notes and expressing your gratitude? Well, Michele. In this conversation, Michele identified 3 different benefits to gratitude. She started by talking about the endorphin release that we experience when we express gratitude. And we, when we express gratitude to others, they in turn also benefit from endorphin release. It’s contagious. And that’s a big benefit. The second benefit of expressing gratitude is that it builds loyalty. Think of the stories Michele shared about client referrals, brand ambassadors, and tokens of gratitude. This all builds loyalty. The third benefit of gratitude. That we discussed is that gratitude can be a catalyst. For connecting with others. Think about that person. That you regret. Not staying connected with. Chances are you are grateful to them for some reason. Reaching out. With a simple thank you can be a catalyst to reconnect. With that person. New line new line so the three benefits of gratitude are endorphins, loyalty. And the fact that gratitude can serve as a catalyst for reconnecting with someone.

 

The second point I want to reinforce is. Michele’s point? About the significance of. Brand ambassadors when it comes to grant to. Gratitude. About the individuals in your network, maybe they have provided you with client referrals, Perhaps they have mentored you, Or perhaps they’ve acted as a sponsored to help you accelerate your career trajectory. These are your personal brand ambassadors. As you’re strategically thinking about your career, If you haven’t done so already, make a list of who your important brand ambassadors are and make sure they understand how grateful you are.

 

The third and last point that I want to reinforce is a Call to action. Yes, this is your homework. I challenge you. To leverage the currency of gratitude by explicitly directly thanking 3 people in your network, yes, the power of three. It may be one or two clients. One or two coworkers. One or two mentors. You probably know who these people are. Then. Customize a thank you for them. Customize the medium through which you communicate it. It could be through e-mail, it could be over the phone, it could be face to face, maybe take them out for lunch. Or you could do as Michele does and right. A formal thank you card.

 

If you’re looking from process for what to say to this person, here’s list of seven prompts from Michele’s book that she also mentions in the interview. 

  1. One word that describes you is. 
  2. You came into my life when
  3. You bring me joy by 
  4. You contribute to my life by. 
  5. you are special to me because. 
  6. you have helped me by. And 
  7. . I want to thank you for. 

 

You can choose from any of these seven prompts or customize one that’s appropriate.

 

And of course if you want to reference these. Prompts. There in the transcript. Of the show notes. On the Talk about talk.com website.

 

That’s it for this episode. I want to say thank you again to Michele. Michele. I am very grateful for you sharing your insights. I’m feeling about gratitude. I’m feeling very inspired. Thank you.

 

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, I hope you’ll share it with your friends and generously leave me a review on whatever podcast app you’re using. It really makes a difference and I appreciate it.

 

If you want to connect, I’d love to hear from you. You connect with me on LinkedIn and message me there.  You can also go to the talkabouttalk.com website and send me a message there. 

 

Thanks again for listening. I am grateful. And talk soon!

 

2 Comments

  • Hi Andrea, I just listened to your latest podcast ‘The Currency of Gratitude’ during my walk and really found it interesting. Although I am not in the workforce full time anymore I found a lot of the principles or points that were discussed can be applied at work, in a volunteer context or even in our personal lives – as gratitude is applicable in any context. Love the prompt questions to show gratitude, to be all used or even just a few! I found the ghosting interesting. Not sure if it’s the Covid effect and we, as a society, need to re-learn about ‘sociability or civility or respect’ be it in a professional or personnal setting…but there is definitely something in the air. I really appreciated this podcast. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you so much, Dominique. Isnt Michele amazing?! She makes a big impact.

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