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Quiet thriving: What is it and how can you develop it in your team?

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 20 Mar 2023

You don’t need to have the loudest voice in the room to make a big impact – business speaker Jim Steele explains how a mindful approach can lead to greater success.

Quiet thriving signifies a move towards helping people enjoy more meaningful, fulfilled lives. It emphasises the importance of taking time for yourself to reflect and evaluate your goals, values and purpose. Quiet thriving encourages you to find ways to welcome peace and positivity into your day-to-day routine, while also inspiring you to make small and significant changes to create a life you love. It focuses on helping you make mindful decisions and encourages prioritising meaningful activities and relationships over the pressures of everyday noise. Practising quiet thriving allows you to look inward to uncover what brings true contentment and joy, so you can pursue it without fear or hesitation. 

Organisations are full of people who don’t necessarily make a lot of noise but have the potential to be quiet thrivers. They may not call attention to themselves often, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have great ideas or that they aren’t capable leaders. 

At work, quiet thriving can help you become more productive and effective. It allows you to step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and tune in to your inner voice. Taking time for yourself will allow you to evaluate what matters most to you, so that your efforts are focused on activities that align with your values. Quiet thriving also encourages you to create the change you want in your life, rather than waiting for someone else to do it. You become empowered to create meaningful goals and take positive action towards achieving them. Through quiet thriving, you can create a work environment that is both productive and fulfilling. 

Autonomy, purpose and mastery: how to align the three keys to intrinsic motivation

It’s no secret that intrinsic motivation is the driving force behind successful entrepreneurs and business owners. It provides a powerful energy to work hard and stay focused, even when the going gets tough. Giving your team time to identify what intrinsic motivators are driving them can provide valuable insight into what makes their journey unique and successful. 

Once you’ve identified your intrinsic motivators, take time to cultivate and nurture them. Make sure that your intrinsic motivation is reflective of what you want to achieve; this will create a powerful source of energy for you as an entrepreneur. Reaching out for help from people who can provide more insight into how best to use intrinsic motivation can be incredibly beneficial.

One of the most effective methods for quiet thriving in business is to develop autonomy, purpose and mastery in yourself and your teams. Autonomy allows you to take charge of your own path and trust yourself in making decisions. It gives you confidence and helps you break through any mental blocks or fears that might prevent you from being successful. Developing your autonomy not only helps you reach new heights in business, but also provides a strong foundation for long-term success.

Having purpose is just as important as autonomy in business. Purpose gives you motivation and drive to persist through obstacles. When faced with difficult tasks or times of uncertainty, it can keep you on track towards achieving your goals. 

A sense of mastery allows you to take charge of the journey, taking control of each step and making sure you are constantly learning and growing. It also gives you a greater appreciation for the hard work that goes into achieving success as an entrepreneur or business owner.

These three key elements can help form a powerful source of motivation, which can drive you and your team towards success. Doing so will provide a strong foundation for your journey as an entrepreneur or a business owner, allowing for quiet thriving. 

Let me finish with five tips to develop a culture of quiet thrivers.

  1. Encourage everyone to speak up, even if they don’t think their opinion matters. Everyone has valuable insights and ideas that can help move your organisation forward, so be sure to give everyone a chance to contribute.
  1. Make sure you’re giving everyone recognition, regardless of how vocal they are. Acknowledge even small contributions and be sure to show your appreciation for the work of quiet thrivers. 
  1. Schedule one-on-one meetings with your team members so that you can get to know them better and understand what motivates them. This is a great way to let everyone’s voices be heard, even if they’re not the loudest ones in the room. 
  1. Establish an environment that fosters collaboration and openness. Make sure your team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas without fear of judgement or criticism. 
  1. Celebrate successes. It can be easy for those who work hard but don’t speak up to feel like their efforts go unnoticed, so it’s important to recognise the success of your team and give credit where it’s due. Celebrate when you meet goals, complete projects and achieve targets. Give quiet achievers a pat on the back and make sure they know that their contribution is valued. After all, success is always sweeter when it’s shared! 


Jim Steele is a business speaker, leadership facilitator, executive coach and author of new book Unashamedly Superhuman: Harness Your Inner Power and Achieve Your Greatest Professional and Personal Goals.

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