Gratitude? Thankfulness? Encouragement? All are words that make our world a better place. Gratitude is a small act with a powerful impact: it ripples and continues out from where it started, improving the mindsets of all involved. Gratitude expressed in a sincere manner changes the complexion of how you see your day and your work. Gratitude inspires trust and offers the recognition that everyone craves.
Forbes magazine acknowledges a place for positive psychology in the workplace: “Managers who make it a habit to send just one e-mail a day recognizing someone’s contribution, or executives who start meetings by focusing on positive strides or outstanding contributors, often find that a more positive tone follows naturally. Feeling appreciated, many experts say, is usually the first step to being truly satisfied on the job.”
Here are some ways to bring authentic gratitude into your world:
Spontaneous and genuine thankfulness – There is not a formula for the perfect timing or opportunity to express genuine gratitude; stay attuned to openings when you can say thank you with a connection behind it. True thankfulness, shown in the moment, creates a boost for both parties.
Specific praise – At times, an all-encompassing and resounding “thank you” is appropriate. But everyone wants to know that the details are noticed, and this is when gratitude for specific accomplishments can be offered. Whether it’s an insignificant daily duty or a major accomplishment, specific praise tells the person that you are paying attention.
Social graces in communication – Email can be impersonal and emotionally misleading when we constantly rush and make terse or cryptic remarks. Take an additional moment to both greet the recipient, and to thank them for their time or input. These social graces go a long way toward making the people you work with feel valued.
Incorporating acts of gratitude into your environment will have an immediate impact. Studies show that an “attitude of gratitude” both prolongs life by increasing health, and adds longevity to the time an employee will stay with a company. When appreciation is shown to those around you, stress is reduced and the immune system is boosted by the optimism added. Employees that feel secure and not stressed in their work, tend to remain at a job longer.
Filmmaker and inspirational speaker Toni Powell challenges people to make gratitude a part of their life: “Happy salespeople sell around 56% more than their unhappy or neutral workmates; doctors, primed with a little happiness prior to meeting a patient, will diagnose more accurately; happy students perform better on tests and happy managers have teams that outshine teams managed by their less happy or stressed colleagues.”
Think about it.