#Gratitude. This hashtag is increasingly popular on social media.
What does gratitude mean? Here is Merriam-Webster's definition: "the state of being grateful, thankfulness."
Why are so many people fans of gratitude?
Gratitude is authentic unsolicited feedback and it rapidly becomes quite contagious. Gratitude is reciprocal and synergistic.
In a world of screens where egocentrism and individualism are increasingly present, adopting an attitude of gratitude at work can contribute to the well-being and motivation of employees. Appreciation also increases self-esteem and loyalty in business relationships.
As a bonus, several studies demonstrate that practicing daily gratitude contributes to better health for you and for those you recognize.
When you are grateful you feel better. You make people happy and are happy. When you recognize you contribute to a better world.
As I like to say, "Gratitude has exponential powers."
Want to join the movement and positively impact your work world?
Here are eight ways to express gratitude at the office:
1. Say "Thank you."
Instantly make the hours spent at work enjoyable by recognizing civil gestures or professional courtesies by acknowledging those who display these behaviours.
Someone holds the door for you: "Thank you." Someone else tends or lends you an object: "Thank you." Your boss gives you extra time for a project: "Thank you." Someone does a favour for you or introduces you to a coveted contact: "Thank you."
When saying thank you in person, take the time to communicate your gratitude. Pause. Stop what you are doing. Make contact with the other person. Look into his eyes. When appropriate, seal your gratitude with a handshake.
2. Make compliments.
Add specifics to your thank you and it becomes a compliment.
Name the actions, the effort, the quality or the observable results and your thank you and it blossoms from a polite courtesy to a professional compliment. A thank you that becomes a compliment is much more memorable. Don't forget to personalize your appreciation by saying the name of its recipient.
"Hi Sam. I just presented our proposal to the executive team. Our CEO is thrilled with its image. With your designing skills, the promotional campaign has a great visual identity. I especially love the new logo that you created! Thank you!"
3. Put it in writing.
You know the saying "Actions speak louder than words?" Put your gratitude in writing and you automatically increase the power of your recognition.
Depending on your level of gratitude, you can write on: a sticky note that you put on his desk minutes before she returns from her break, in an email by taking care of putting his boss in CC or in a card that you send by mail.
You say you don't have time to write thank-you notes? In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg, Mr. Facebook himself, challenged himself to writing a thank-you note a day. You have the same number of hours in a day as he does. Right? Write.
4. Acknowledge publicly.
During a meeting, on social media, to his superior, by referring him to a new customer, by nominating her for an honour -- give visibility to the ones for which you're grateful.
WHEN YOU ARE A MANAGER
5. Reward with a treat or an activity.
Recognize the ones that go beyond expectations by rewarding them with a gift certificate to a bookstore or invite them for lunch. These small unexpected surprises are always appreciated.
Remember to accompany your reward with a gratitude note.
Rewarding the entire team is a very effective way to increase team cohesiveness. Do it by organizing a full candy bar for the afternoon break or by taking the team to a bowling alley. Personalize your gift. You know yours and your budget best. Be creative!
6. Give the gift of time.
Acknowledge an employee's good deeds by allowing him to leave early or to take a paid day off.
7. Assign a new project or give a promotion.
Recognize the talents of your subordinates can also be demonstrated with a vote of confidence by presenting a new challenge.
8. Adopt a culture of gratitude.
Start your meetings with expressions of gratitude.
Assign a wall and encourage all employees to contribute notes of gratitude.
Whether you are the boss or a new recruit, watch, wait and catch someone doing something good. Acknowledge people, their talents and gifts.
Cheerfully appreciate. Do it earnestly and regularly not only to your subordinates and your peers, but also to your superiors, suppliers, partners and customers. It does not matter in which direction you appreciate; up, down or sideways, the benefits are all the same.
Because gratitude is contagious, let me begin a cycle of gratitude. #Gratitude to the Huffington Post Canada team and to you dear readers. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.
You have a sticky situation? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions? Go to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Need a speaker or workshop leader? Julie travels. No time for training? Order autographed copies of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Hiring Julie is the best Return On Investment that you will ever make, for your reputation.
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Grateful teens are happier, according to a study presented at one of the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association. Researchers also found that teens who are grateful -- defined in this study as having a positive outlook on life -- are more well-behaved at school and more hopeful than their less-grateful peers. They also got better grades, had less envy and more friends due to their optimism. "More gratitude may be precisely what our society needs to raise a generation that is ready to make a difference in the world," said study researcher Giacomo Bono, Ph.D., a psychology professor at California State University.
Being constantly mindful of all the things you have to be thankful for can boost your well-being, research suggests. In a series of experiments detailed in a 2003 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, daily exercise practices and listing off all the things you are thankful for are linked with a brighter outlook on life and a greater sense of positivity. "There do appear to exist benefits to regularly focusing on one's blessings," the researchers wrote in the study. "The advantages are most pronounced when compared with a focus on hassles or complaints, yet are still apparent in comparison with simply reflecting the major events in one’s life, on ways in which one believes one is better off than comparison with others, or with a control group."
Grateful high-schoolers have higher GPAs -- as well as better social integration and satisfaction with life -- than their non-grateful counterparts, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Happiness Studies. Researchers also found that grateful teens were less depressed and envious. This could be a factor in why the teens got better grades since they were less distracted and lived healthier lives. "When combined with previous research, a clearer picture is beginning to emerge about the benefits of gratitude in adolescents, and thus an important gap in the literature on gratitude and well-being is beginning to be filled," researchers wrote.
According to a 2003 study in the the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gratitude could also boost pro-social behaviors, such as helping other people who have problems or lending emotional support to another person. This explains why religious services include reflection days and why so many self-help groups such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) use grateful thinking practices.
Writing down what you're thankful for as you drift off to sleep can quiet the mind and help you get better ZZs, according to a study in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Specifically, researchers found that when people spent 15 minutes jotting down what they're grateful for in a journal before bedtime, they fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer because they worried less, Psychology Today reported. Participants with neuromuscular disorders reported that they had more refreshing sleep in just 3 weeks.
Being thankful for the little things your partner does could make your relationship stronger, according to a study in the journal Personal Relationships. The Telegraph reported on the study, which showed that journaling about the thoughtful things your partner did was linked with a beneficial outcome on the relationship. The researchers found that gratitude for everyday kind gestures helps people become close to others who care about their well-being. They claim, "Gratitude may help to turn 'ordinary' moments into opportunities for relationship growth, even in the context of already close, communal relations.’'
A 1995 study in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that appreciation and positive emotions are linked with changes in heart rate variability. [This] may be beneficial in the treatment of hypertension and in reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease.
Athletes are less likely to burn out and more likely to experience high life satisfaction and team satisfaction when they are grateful, according to a 2008 study in the journal Social Indicators Research of high-schoolers. Gratitude sharpens the senses, enhancing athletic performance according to Positive Performance Training.
Gratefulness is linked with optimism, which in turn is linked with better immune health, WebMD reported. For example, a University of Utah study showed that stressed-out law students who were optimistic had more white blood cells (which help boost your immune system) than people who were pessimistic, according to WebMD.
WebMD reported that negative events can boost gratitude, and that gratitude can help to increase feelings of belonging and decrease feelings of stress. Interestingly, adversity can enhance gratitude, helping people to feel more connected after a terrible event, such as 9/11. A survey showed that feelings of gratitude were at high levels after 9/11, according to WebMD.
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