As we enter the holiday season, it is always a great time to pause and give thanks for those around us, what we have accomplished as an individual or team, and to be thankful for the wonderful lives we have.
We paused at our Thanksgiving dinner this year and asked everyone to share what he or she was thankful for. It was a very nice moment and a new tradition we started to accompany our opening prayer.
So that takes me to the point of this blog: How often do you pause to show gratitude for those you work with and for what you have accomplished together? I had a coaching call with one CEO recently who said that even though they did not hit all of their metrics and targets for the quarter, they accomplished a lot and were going to celebrate that in their upcoming planning sessions. We all know that reinforcing the good behavior we want to experience is better than dwelling on and pointing out deficiencies.
It is very easy to focus on what was not accomplished, the targets we missed, or what is not going well. Read any newspaper or watch the news and society is full of it. Many people thrive on the negativity of things. I get through the daily newspaper so quickly because I refuse to take in all of the negative writing and only take from it an awareness of the news that I feel I need. We are what we take in and think!
We coach clients to spend 80% of their time talking about solutions and adjustments in their weekly meetings, avoiding making these status or report-out meetings. We also coach to stop and celebrate items that are super green when you accomplished more than expected and met your stretch goal. Take the opportunity to learn from these successes and replicate them elsewhere in the organization.
“A recent survey of 2,000 Americans, conducted by the John Templeton Foundation, found that people are less likely to express or foster gratitude in the workplace than anywhere else – despite the fact that they themselves wanted to be recognized and thanked more at work.”
One of our core values at Rhythm Systems is “Be Appreciative.” We take this very seriously and our culture is definitely built upon this core value. There are a lot of thank you’s that are given out generously on calls and via email. I do not think anyone on our team feels as if they are taken for granted. Team members go out of their way to share the glory of an accomplishment with other team members and to spotlight others’ successes and contributions.
So, here are a few tips on ways you can show appreciation in the workplace:
- Say please and thank you whenever the opportunity allows. I know this sounds obvious, but many people do not do it.
- Be humble as a leader and allow others to take the glory for a project’s success.
- Write down and share things you are grateful for and find the opportunity to share them and show your appreciation.
- Praise others on your team. This is a benefit that does not cost you anything and will come back in spades. It makes you feel good, too!
- Be sincere and really mean what you say. Speak from the heart and pick the right moment to praise in order to avoid putting someone on the spot.
- Thank your boss or board members for their support and contributions. It truly is lonely at the top, and even they appreciate the love.
- Thank suppliers and partners for their part in making your team successful. We cannot do it alone, and most companies are built on these relationships.
- Be grateful. Gratitude produces hope, motivates you and others, and clears the way for positive change.
Remember the age-old saying, you have to give to get. Be generous in your praise and appreciation for others. It sets a great tone and reinforces the right culture in an organization.
So, is your glass half empty or half full? How often do you or others in your organization exercise any of the tips above? I urge you to look for opportunities this year to reinforce or build your culture of appreciation and gratitude. You may even end up on one of the best places to work list! Many of our clients have, I am very proud to say.
Thank you and praise well, Alan