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You might think it’s tacky to frame “gratitude” as a tool for motivating people (including yourself). You could be right, but here’s the Mixonian Institute take on the motivational power of gratitude.
Gratitude motivates when it’s SPECIFIC to the person.
Saying “good job” is not specific.
Start saying, “I appreciate the way you…” or “I appreciate how you…”.
It’s an unfortunate aspect of the human condition that expressing gratitude is HARD and most of us are frankly, terrible at it. The attitude that shows up naturally is “So, what have done for me lately?”
Have you ever seen a grateful two-year-old? Was there ever a child who taught himself to say “thank-you”? I don’t think so. That’s not the way human beings arrive on Planet Earth.
Why is specific gratitude so dang difficult?
- Our innate negativity bias is always reminding us what’s wrong with life and what could be dangerous, like accidentally logging into your Amazon account.
- We compare and despair, even though there are 6.98 billion people who think we in the USA won the life lottery.
- It takes effort and observation. We are a busy people.
This is to help you express gratitude for the people you work with, especially those who call you “boss.”
Research unequivocally supports the relationship between expression of gratitude and feelings of happiness. That’s because gratitude forces you to not think about your problems for at least 4 seconds.
Research links the practice of extreme gratitude to many health benefits, including mitigating cancer, Alzheimer’s and depression.
5 Ways Gratitude Helps Your Team
1. Gratitude decimates evil stress.
Being present and aware lowers your stress level instantly(!) and makes you more accessible to others. Lower stress = longer life + better health + deeper happiness.
Plus, stress really blocks communication.
2. Gratitude for your clients, the people who report to you and your Boss builds your career.
BTW…Mixonian Institute is EXTREMELY grateful to all our clients and readers. Thank you! Showing your Boss Gratitude is a recommended practice. Try it and see what happens. The Norm of Reciprocity is real.
3. Gratitude shifts everyone’s energy UP.
Higher energy attracts people and experiences of a similar level to you. (Birds of a feather.) High energy is magnetic!
4. Gratitude puts your team in the frame of mind to take more action.
This is related to #3. More actions = more results = more learning = more success.
5. Gratitude improves morale.
The #1 reason a person quits a job is not feeling appreciated. Studies show that employees value feeling appreciated even more than higher salaries. A pay raise is one way to show gratitude, but there are many others that cost less money. Be creative about showing your appreciation for people.
BONUS: Gratitude is fun. (I mean in the way learning to do something hard is fun.)
Get together with your work team and compose a long list, maybe of 100 items, for which you are grateful. Family and health are off limits to keep the lists from becoming meaningless clichés. Acceptable entries for a gratitude list include, truffle fries, lime Doritos, Taylor Swift or having finished a certain certification program.
Yet ANOTHER Gratitude Bonus:Try writing a note, a real one on paper or an email, to a different person each day over the next four weeks. Express your specific gratitude to the person in the note and see what happens!
I guarantee you’ll be blown away by the reactions you get for the people who get these notes from you.