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Perspective of Gratitude from an SBO

For this interview, I asked a friend of mine who own their own business by developing web pages for companies.

Photo of Leamon Wilson
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For this interview, I emailed him some self-generated questions about gratitude in his workplace. I asked a variety of questions ranging from how does he choose to express gratitude in his workplace to his thoughts about being in other workplaces and how they express gratitude. 

Here are his responses:

1. How do you choose to express gratitude in your workplace? 

Verbally, words are important.  It’s important to acknowledge victories and praise problem-solving skills, even if the outcome wasn’t perfect, to reinforce desired behavior.

2. What does gratitude mean to you personally? What does it mean in the workplace?

Personally, gratitude is about not taking the people around you for granted and nurturing goodwill with the people you see every day.  Gratitude is about reinforcing desired behavior/providing feedback and recognizing my colleagues' individual value on our team.  Resentment can spring up very easily and become toxic before you know it.  My mission is to prevent that from happening.
3. How do your co-workers express gratitude to either you or one another? 

We all try to be vocal in celebrating each other’s victories.  Regularly acknowledging this keeps us focused on the strength of the team and increases overall job satisfaction.


4. How do you/your co-workers express gratitude to your customers? 

By maintaining the lines of communication with our customers we are able to recognize their victories as well because they benefit both sides of the relationship.  For long-term relationships we sometimes celebrate anniversaries with Zingerman’s gift baskets- everyone loves free food :)


5. What has been your experience when receiving gratitude from other businesses?

It is the mark of a quality client-they appreciate and are grateful for our efforts and make sure we understand that they recognize the value of what we do. Unfortunately, they are often in the minority as many companies foster a toxic work environment internally, and those attitudes are represented in their interactions with other businesses as well.  Largely due to oppressive and/or abusive C level executives or VP’s depending on company size.


6. Do you have any expectations for yourself or for your co-workers to express gratitude for your customers?

Yes!  I expect all of us to celebrate the victories within our customer relationships because it makes them feel good about the relationship, which is the foundation of a successful relationship. Bringing a negative attitude to any relationship is going to poison each interaction and keep you up at night!

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I'm hoping that people learn more about how gratitude in the workplace affects their coworkers and learn unique and creative ways of expressing gratitude towards others.

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Photo of Lauren Ito

Leamon ,

Great to have you in the challenge, and diving into such an important topic. Thank you for sharing this interview! Did you find any of these insights shared by your friend particularly surprising? Did he mention what "celebrating victories" looks like in his workplace?

Also, is there any chance you could find an image to go along with your post? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there.

Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.