Any time, any place, with anyone — gratitude works wonders. Why not take it to work with you and see what I mean? I’ve been spreading thanks now for years and I find that work situations are some of the very best places to practice being thankful. Let me explain just a few of the ways you can make this work for you.
Think about when there is a deadlock at work. Everyone seems to be dug in and no one wants to meet the others around them half-way or understand their point of view. Then gratitude walks in! Someone says, “Listen, guys, thanks for caring so much about this issue! We need people who care and I appreciate so much how invested everyone is.” That person has just shifted the energy from an ugly confrontation to a point of pride and good feelings. Just by saying “thank you”.
Once the energy has shifted and people are feeling a little better, then find another point of common ground. How about mentioning the fact that the deadlock is causing a lot of lost time for everyone at the workplace and it’s the customer or client who is losing out? Ask for suggestions that will break the impasse and thank everyone who steps forward to try to make it better. Each time you say, “thank you” and appreciate people, the energy shifts again.
Even if the steps people take are small, they are steps forward and should be recognized. When you say, “thank you”, it encourages everyone else to step up their own game. That is the inherent unspoken power of gratitude at work. It’s subtle but it works.
You’ll see the same thing happen when a co-worker reaches out to help someone struggling beside them. Everyone has bad days. Stress can really mess with workflow but having someone beside you to offer encouragement can make a world of difference.
Imagine if you said to your totally stressed out colleague, “Hey, listen, looks like you’re swamped! Can I give you a hand for a few minutes to help you sort out that mess? I really appreciated when someone did that for me last month, and now it’s my turn.” Suddenly, you’ve diffused a potential stress break-down just by offering a kind word and passing along a similar kindness someone did for you! Watch your co-worker shift from overwhelm to being grateful and relieved, just to have the support.
I love workplaces who take this even one step further! They make a point to build gratitude into all interactions and put a value on taking time to formally thank staff members for the positive actions they take at work. Sincere thanks. Personal thanks. It’s powerful.
So maybe someone came up with a productivity-boosting idea. Recognize them with a hand-written card of thanks. It’s a simple gesture but so effective. Maybe someone stayed late at work to resolve a client issue and the relationship was saved. Drop off a hand-written note on their desk and see what a boost of good energy flows that day!
One of my absolute favorite things is to write a note of thanks to a customer! I don’t need to do it. All the formal paperwork and confirmations are enough to confirm the sale; I’ve already shaken their hand and said thank you for the order in person.
But now imagine the look on their face, a few days later, when they see a hand-written piece of mail arrive, with a stamp on it and their name on the front. They open it and it’s just a little thank you note from me saying that I appreciate their confidence in me and in our products and service. It’s a touch-point that makes them smile and it reinforces our positive relationship. Sincere thanks. Personal thanks. Powerful.
I’m sure you have ideas of your own. Why not act on them today? There are so many ways that gratitude can be put to work in the workplace to shift energy and bring out the best in everyone. Two words: Thank You! But there are a thousand ways to use them. I would love to hear how you use gratitude in your workplace or with your clients. Thank you for sharing and thank you for spreading thanks in your corner of the world.
Elena Anguita is a change agent, speaker, and author of Spread Thanks! Create Miracles Through The Power of Ink who supports education and passionately believes in the transformative power of gratitude. You can connect with Elena on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SpreadThanks.com.
Image courtesy of Alexander Suhorucov.