I’m writing this the day before Thanksgiving, finishing up a few work things before knocking off early to hang with my kids, and I’m feeling very grateful for what we’re all building here at Givitas.
I’m very thankful for the Give and Take team: our founders, Cheryl, Wayne, and Adam, who have brought their considerable gifts to the world through research, scholarship, technology, books, and more. These three people have changed the world through their work. I’m beyond grateful for the people in the trenches with me making this all work: Dave, Gal, Katie, Nikki, Krystie, Amber, Matt, our fearless leader Larry, and all the other folks (past and present) who have worked on this incredible project. Y’all make it fun to come to work every day.
(Side note: on a personal level, it is also beyond gratifying to be part of a leadership team at a technology company that is more than half women. It’s the first time I’ve ever worked for a company in any industry where this was the case!)
But I’m even more thankful for the thousands of users in our communities who are showing vulnerability (to ask for help when they need it), generosity (sharing their time, talent, connections, and experience), and heartfelt gratitude (when their needs are met by strangers who often become a closer part of their network).
Almost every single day, I see an amazing exchange: someone throwing out a request that they thought no one would ever be able to help with, and then they receiving two or three or even ten offers from community members who have personal experience or a connection to someone who does. We’ve seen Givitas community members:
- Meet mentors
- Get advice on sticky work problems that are keeping them up at night
- Connect with people doing the same job for another company
- Get funding or support for a new venture or an introduction to someone in the field who can help
- Find new employees, ranging from executive-level positions on down
- Connect with colleagues in other cities/countries/offices who have the information they need to do their jobs quicker and easier
- Feel less lonely
- Develop new relationships with people they never would have met otherwise
To quote Hamilton (which I took my kids to see in Richmond last weekend; it was fantastic!), “This is not a moment, it’s the movement!” What we are building here only works when people participate.
So thank you all for helping Givitas grow from an idea to a movement in just two short years.
But enough of the mushy stuff . . .
Thankfulness and gratitude is important.
Did you know that people are thanked only 5% of the time they offer help?
We want to change that, so we actually built gratitude into the platform. Every time someone gets an offer of help, they are prompted to say thank you.
Here’s how it works.
We hosted Adam Grant for a webinar on Monday (you can see the recording here), and I went into Givitas last week to get some ideas for questions to ask him. I got 9 offers in one community!
Here’s how I know when I get an offer: I get an email prompting me to say thank you:
We built the platform to inspire and encourage generosity because social science research shows that gratitude is good for both the giver of the gratitude and the recipient.
We are building a different kind of social network here, one that inspires generosity, vulnerability, and yes, gratitude.
So when I click on that green button that says “View Offer and Say Thanks,” it takes me right to the offer and prompts me to say thank you. I’m given the choice of several pre-populated thank you messages (circled in the screenshot below), but I also have the opportunity to write a custom message. Here’s what that looks like:
It’s a pretty simple thing, but really adds to the feeling of community within our groups.
(If you aren’t a Givitas user and would like to join one of our free groups, check them out here.)
When to Express Gratitude
There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to share some ideas for expressing gratitude in your every day life, at work and at home.
The research says we all need to be reminded to express gratitude when someone gives us something, but I love this post by James Clear on 7 times when you should say thank you even when it might not occur to you.
- When you’re running late, instead of saying “sorry, I’m late,” try saying “thank you for waiting for me.”
- When you’re comforting someone who is going through something hard, instead of saying, “at least you have your memories,” say, “thank you for sharing that with me. I’m here to support you.”
- When you’re receiving helpful feedback that stings a little, instead of explaining or making excuses, say, “thank you for expecting more of me.”
James closes with:
When in doubt, just say thank you. There is no downside. Are you honestly worried about showing too much gratitude to the people in your life?
“Should I send a Thank You card in this situation?” Yes, you should.
“Should I tip him?” If you don’t, at least say thank you.
Say thank you, more often.
7 Articles on Gratitude to Read While You’re Taking a Break from Thanksgiving Dinner
- According to The History of Thank You Around the World, the word “thank” stems from the Latin word tongēre. The root tong- means “think.” Loosely translated, the expression might read “I will remember what you have done for me.” (source: )
- Here are seven ways to encourage gratitude in your children.
- Tired of just saying “thanks?” Here are a bunch of new ideas for ways to say thank you.
- Lack of gratitude is a major factor driving job dissatisfaction, turnover, absenteeism, and often, burnout.
- This 10-minute gratitude routine involves focusing on capacity, not present circumstances.
- Science says you shouldn’t wait for thinks to go well before expressing gratitude.
- Gratitude has a business impact because it elevates everyone.
I hope you all have a wonderful break from work and lots to be thankful for this year.