Small Ways to Practice Gratitude in the Workplace
Gratitude. We hear so much about it that it’s almost become a buzzword these days…or has it?
Studies have shown having a positive attitude can change your outlook on the world around you. But, how exactly do we foster a “positive attitude”? Practicing gratitude not only shifts our outlook, but it also affects those you engage with, both directly and indirectly. Let’s take a look at how this can translate into the work environment.
Celebrate achievements with sincerity
Did someone just close a million dollar sale? Did you cube mate just have their 10 year anniversary with the company? Is your boss getting married next week? One way to practice gratitude is to show sincerity when acknowledging your co-workers’ achievements. Mindfully make eye contact and express your sentiment from the heart. It doesn’t need to be a Shakepearian monologue – a few kind words will do the trick.
Perform a random act of kindness
How great is it to be acknowledged? Most of us would agree that deep down, we all want to be seen. One of the simplest ways to acknowledge another human is by a random act of kindness. Say hello to the newly hired temp, get an extra smoothie to share one with your cube mate, and hold the elevator for someone who’s running late. Small gestures add up, and remind us we are not alone.
Be fully present
Have you ever been talking to a co-worker and you can tell they are half a world away? How did that make you feel? We are all guilty of not being fully present, because part of the human experience is being distracted by everything except what is going on in this exact moment. We never get to relive the same moment twice, your assistant may never have another opportunity to tell you about her six cats, and the excitement your boss has about her new grandbaby may never be as jubilant as when she came to you right before that super important deadline you had to meet. Sharing your undivided attention even in small increments, shows your co-workers that you appreciate THEM (even though you may not a cat lover)!
Be gracious when challenged
We’ve all seen the memes about keeping your cool at work, while wearing a deranged smile and possibly hitting the bottle kept in the bottom desk drawer. The reason memes are funny is because they are relatable – a common, human experience. Challenges present themselves at work regularly, whether they be logistical, interpersonal or personal, and how we embrace them determines the reality around us. Removing our emotional responses during stressful times puts the greater good of all involved at the forefront.
A smile is one of the simplest, purest forms of communication. It is one of the easiest ways to not only show gratitude, but also compassion and understanding. Have you ever seen one of your co-workers struggling with a client on the phone, and felt their frustration? What would happen if you smiled at them with compassionate understanding, as if to say “hang in there”? It is very likely that you’d help make their day brighter, in addition to fostering interpersonal goodwill. Everyone wins.
Want more ideas on how to share gratitude in the workplace?
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