How gratitude motivates and sustains our workshop facilitators and coaches

Kevin Friesen

Written by

Kevin Friesen

A person holding a large, plentiful, healthy plant in a pot with a heart on it, being grown by gratitude and humility

I’ve been leading workshops and coaching for nearly 10 years now, and I’ve realized that gratitude is one of those essential characteristics of an impactful facilitator. First of all, it helps to be personally grateful. Grateful to be doing something that you love. Grateful to be representing an incredible brand and company. Grateful to have the opportunity to impart something of great value to other people.

 All of our facilitators have struggled at one point in their professional career. They can share stories of scarcity, being undervalued, micro-managed, and simply playing a position that didn’t line up with their strengths. The alignment that comes when passion and purpose come together is such a source of joy, and that creates gratitude…or does the gratitude create the joy? What matters is that both are present.

To be a communicator of great impact, it is important to be awake to the simple privilege of sharing something important to other humans and to allow your personal gratitude to fuel your energy and joy.

But we find that our facilitators are also truly grateful that people actually carve out an entire day and attend our workshops. Extremely busy, often over-worked people, who are managing great pressures and challenges, set aside an entire work-day to follow us on a journey of training and transformation. Whether they are learning to tell visual stories, create a persuasive presentation, communicate actionable data, or deliver their work publicly—they are giving us their time and commitment. What a gift. 

Of course, that drives and motivates us to give them the best possible day they could have. It’s our gratitude for their sacrifice and commitment that drives us to give all we possibly can and go as far as we need to in order to engage and delight our audiences.

This type of gratitude for the audience is really a product of humility that says, “it’s not about how great I am, but how greatly I can serve and meet their needs.” So in this external focus of gratitude, it leads to humility, or humility leads to gratitude….again, the sequence is not important.

What we do know is communicators characterized by joy, humility, and gratitude, tend to be revered and sought after. These traits alone are not enough, but a communicator who lacks them can be tiresome and easy to forget. 

So, gratitude is the right attitude to practice. It requires work. Monotony and fatigue are constant enemies for the communicator, so much can and should be done to keep them at bay. 

Just a few tips that we share with our facilitators:

  • Remind yourself before each workshop why you love what you get to do.
  • Don’t forget the lean and tough seasons of your career provide great contrast for your current opportunity.
  • Really busy and possibly stressed out humans are giving you a full day in the hopes getting tools or insights to better do their jobs. Reward their sacrifice.

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Illustrated by Jonathan Valiente