In today’s world, where everyone is feeling undervalued or under-appreciated or sometimes even untrusted. This could be in personal or even professional lives. This has led to bruises in many lives which may or may not heal. You must have heard many stories or anecdotes about such feelings from your family, colleagues or even sometimes spouses. I think, ‘Gratitude’ can be one of the remedies which employed persistently can lead to happier and healthier life.
I have always strongly felt, Gratitude is something you cannot teach to anyone. It needs to be heartfelt and genuine. Gratitude cannot be forced or expected. By the design, it is natural and spontaneous. It does not require management or control. More so, it is oblivious to titles, positions and politics. Its direct emotional contact between humans.
Gratitude cannot be institutionalised by traditional programs or initiatives but can be supported or admired by the inherent behaviours of leaders and role models of the teams, organisations and eventually communities.
Certain things which I have observed from my personal experience, leaders, colleagues, family and friends. How ‘Gratitude’ creates ripples of positive energy around you which is not only infectious but also has a lasting impact on everyone around. It invigorates lots of positive behaviour amongst teams and communities.
Few learnings based on my observations in life on building a culture of Gratitude:
Feel for Yourself First — Gratitude is intentional. It’s a habit. A way of seeing the world that is developed over time by where you focus your mind and what you choose to see.
When you make time each day to reflect on and feel gratitude for everything in your life and for life itself, the way you experience life (and work) will change.
You can do this as part of a daily meditation time [worked for me], in a journal or say it out loud as you are walking or working out. The more grateful you are, the more you will extend that gratitude to others.
Say ‘Thank You’ and Mean it — You can start by saying thank you in an unexpected way or at an unexpected time. Write a handwritten note or call someone for no other reason than just to tell them you appreciate them for who they are or something they recently did to help the team.
Do this once or twice a week until it becomes a habit. You’ll probably want to do it more often. Your gratitude will grow, and you will inspire grateful actions in those you inspire.
Try getting others involved — Create simple opportunities for gratitude in your team. You can do little things like asking if anyone has a “shout out” they want to share at the end of your staff meetings. The goal is to create moments of spontaneous gratitude.
Do this every chance you get. Try bringing gratitude into the mix at times people normally don’t think about it. The more people get active with gratitude the more it will grow. Give people reasons to appreciate one another.
Get in a rhythm — Gratitude has an energy of its own. As you create more opportunities for celebration and appreciation this energy will spread beyond the walls of your organization into your community, your customers and into the personal lives of your employees.
Grateful leaders inspire grateful followers.
Leader’s set the tone. That’s just how it is. People in the organization take their cues from leader’s behaviour. Gratitude is no different. When you are genuinely grateful for the people you serve as a leader and for the opportunity to build something together, it will show. Imagine working in an organization where gratitude is at the heart of everything you do.
A sense of abundance and appreciation permeates how you treat one another and reveals itself in how you approach problems and opportunities. Imagine how this mindset would inspire the creativity and engagement upon which so many organizations depend.
Gratitude can change your organization (this could be team, families or even multimillion dollar enterprises) from the inside out.