“Again, it’s not something we are accustomed to look at or start a meeting with.”

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who focuses on shifting people from languishing to thriving. In this video, I want to talk to you about gratitude in the workplace. So, as a starting question, what are you grateful for today? Have you even thought about it?

Very often, we only think about gratitude when things get taken away from us, when we no longer have them. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, be thankful for what you have, and you will have more of it. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will never be satisfied. And that is exactly what gratitude is all about.

Start to create the lens to be thankful for what you have. So, look around your team, look around your workplace, and actually start seeing, what am I thankful for? Gratitude is very difficult to embrace in a moment of crisis and in a moment of trauma. I mean, where is the beauty in life in those situations? Where is the magic? But they are there. We just need to look even harder and more deeper.

But what’s the power of gratitude is that once you develop the lens of gratitude, you can often go back and read through some things and then you realise that today really isn’t as bad as we think it is. So, gratitude is a lot about reflecting and thinking who or what touched my life today?

And, as I mentioned, stop thinking that in your team, who or what are you thankful for in your team? I want to share six tips on how to build gratitude in the workplace.

1. Share what are you are thankful for

The first one is to start sharing with people what and who are you thankful for? Again, it’s not something we’re accustomed to look at or start a meeting with. Who actually touched your day or your life or your week? Who helped you on a project? Who contributed to something? Very often it’s very small things that created magic. We think it. We don’t acknowledge the person for it, but that is where the gratitude starts.

2. Celebrate team successes

The second one of gratitude is to celebrate team successes. We don’t often celebrate success. We just move on. We don’t sit back and honestly acknowledge how grateful we are for the achievement, that we were part of it, that we could participate in it. What we’ve learned from it. We don’t sit back and reflect on these things. But the minute that you do, you feel such a sense of gratitude towards your team, the workplace, and the project. You feel privileged that you were actually part of it.

3. Wall of gratitude

The third item that instils gratitude is a wall of gratitude. This is where employees, through a picture or a story, share what they are most grateful for in their workplace. It makes for most interesting reading, and it really gives you a nice insight about people, their philosophy on life, and what they are thinking.

4. Creativity box

The fourth one is to create a creativity box where people can randomly put in pieces of papers or notes about what they are grateful for. And it’s a nice way to start a meeting because as a leader, you can just pull out of the box. You don’t know which one is going to be read, and it’s always a nice giggle to see what comes up, but it’s always good to use.

5. Personalised handwritten note

The fifth one is a personalised, handwritten note from the leader. It goes a long way for you to receive a handwritten note than an email or a text. Just the thought that they’ve gone into buying a card, have written it, and then put the whole process together is a huge sense of gratitude for that situation. Plus, the leader has to think about the process of gratitude, what they want to acknowledge you for.

6. Include the family members of your team

And the sixth one is for the leader to actually express gratitude towards family members, to thank them for the hours that they are allowing their spouses, their partners, to come to the office, to go the extra mile, to share how them doing that has led to a certain project or a success that goes a long way. And that is a huge component of gratitude, where the leader has that eye and that mindset of gratitude.

But gratitude starts with you. You have to see the beauty in life. You have to see the magic in life. And start to acknowledge how people have contributed to your success. You haven’t gotten where you have without many people. So, once you can acknowledge that, then take the same process into your teams, acknowledge them for what they’ve done, share with them, celebrate, thank them, and see the magic that happens going to work every day.

It’s not just a boring place. It actually is a very energising place. So, gratitude is something, especially in this negative environment that we’re currently in to enhance and upscale a lot in the workplace.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

How do you ensure that team members can express how they are feeling at work?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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