How did you feel when your colleague, your first line manager, your boss congratulated you, said thank you to you? What do people thank you for most often?
Today as I am writing my blog, the current world population sits at 7,490,031,750. What if 7,490,031,750 people could thank you? How would that make you feel? How many people have actually thanked you in your life?
Saying thank you is free. It does not cost anything other than a few seconds of our lives. It shows we are paying attention to others. Appreciation changes everything.
What do people around you do well everyday that you might be taking for granted? Make space in your daily life to wish someone well, to say thank you, to praise. Give and be generous. Be caring and compassionate. Be kind. Be respectful. Authenticity is magnetic.
Listening is giving the other person the experience of being heard. It becomes a giving. Make a choice about how you are going to say thank you. Celebrate others. Celebrate how they have shifted, their creativity, their success, their risk, the difference that they are making. Of course you are busy! We are all busy but we give what we can, when we can. A very simple story. Give. Simple.
One of my clients told me recently that he would leave thank you post it notes on his colleagues’ computers prior to them arriving to work. One of my routines when I was a Headteacher was weekly to identify staff who had made a real difference. I would write them each a personalised letter. Yes it took time but I took pleasure out of it because I felt that this was the least I could do to express my gratitude to them.
Building a culture of workplace gratitude could be the best thing you ever do for your organisation. In fact, author and speaker Toni Powell calls gratitude at work the key to success in Why Gratitude in the Workplace? In her TEDx Talk, “A Love Story,” she says her husband used gratitude to transform her life.
When you practise workplace gratitude you transform relationships, minimize complaints, and see satisfaction levels skyrocket. The effect is profound and long-lasting, Powell says, because gratitude rewires the brain to see and process the world differently. It works like this, she explains. Gratitude:
- Increases resilience
- Reduces stress
- Facilitates positive relationships
- Makes people happier
- Reduce turn over
And happy people work harder!
I love TED Talks! In his TED Talk, The Happy Secret to Better Work, former Harvard professor Shawn Achor says happiness improves every aspect of business: “Happy brains are 31% more productive than negative, stressed or neutral brains, and dopamine—released when we’re happy—turns on the brain’s learning centers.”
You and your employees can train your brains to look for positivity and happiness by, among other things, writing down three things you’re grateful for everyday for 30 days. When will you start?
My favorite TED Talks on building workplace gratitude are:
1. Want to Be Happy and Grateful by monk and interfaith scholar Brother David Steindl-Rast
2. Remember to Say Thank You by Counselor and life coach Dr. Laura Trice
3. Your Happiest Days are Behind You by Happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener
4. The Epidemic of Smiles and the Science of Gratitude by Jennifer Moss, co-founder of Plasticity, enterprise software for culture performance
5. How Thanking Awakens our Thinking by Dr. Kerry Howells, an educator of teachers
6. What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work? by behavioral economist Dan Ariely
7. Make Stress Your Friend by Psychologist Kelly McGonigal
Your thank you note may feel like sunrise for some. Relationships are everything in life. Attention is energy. You are choosing – all the time so make it happen. Make generosity part of your growth strategy. Gratitude is medicine.
Thank you for reading my blog 🙂