As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
JFK has been quoted as stating some amazing insights and yet this one always pulls at my heart. How many people do you know that pay lip service to the practice of gratitude? They may say thank you to a waiter or someone that holds a door open. They may state how grateful they are for the sunshine or a raise in the stock market. They may even tell you how grateful they are for the job you have completed, or the way you have made them look good. The real question remains are they living a grateful life and do their actions prove their gratitude?
If you were arrested and charged with being a grateful person would there be enough evidence to convict you? If we began prosecuting all the ungrateful people in this world there would not be enough prison beds to accommodate them all. If you were to study the habits of truly grateful people what would you find? Well one study conducted at UC Davis suggests that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Additionally, you could expect to experience less depression and stress, you would be more likely to help others, you would exercised more regularly and make more progress toward your personal goals. According to the findings, people who feel grateful are also more likely to feel loved.
Who wouldn’t want more of these aspects in their life or in their workplace? Can you imagine how different your daily experience would be when everyone in the office is practicing gratitude? Imagine the shift in energy and the amount of quality work that can be accomplished if the majority of your co-works or staff were more likely to help each other. When everyone is making more progress towards their goals your company will flourish in ways you may not event be anticipating. When your team is working with higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy you can rest assured that the work is getting done and the company is prospering. Is this not the type of team we all dream to have on our side?
How then can you as a leader foster the practice of gratitude in the workplace, or as an entrepreneur remember to add gratitude to your daily rituals? I just gave you the first step. Make gratitude a ritual. If your organization is small enough try having a morning gratitude e-mail chain. Ask everyone to contribute something and reply to all. As the leader you can start the message and encourage everyone to add in as the chain makes its way around the office. Such a practice is much healthier than the morning joke circle that we all know circulate most days. I have been witness to many teams that begin their meetings with a round robin of gratitude before they sink into the work at hand. In larger organizations, consider making gratitude part of your internal communications or employee newsletters. As a leader you can easily include a thought of gratitude in the company wide communications. Simply add a sentence or two and let the every employee know how grateful you are for their loyalty, their dedication, and their enthusiasm.
As you practice gratitude in every aspect of your life and business you become the model, the example of gratitude and thus your employees, team mates, collaborators and friends must pick up on the energy you are sharing. This is a Universal Law and you ought to be grateful for the opportunity to practice gratitude everyday. The invitation is before you to do as JFK implored us all those years ago. Will you simply utter the words of gratitude or live as an example of gratitude?
In closing allow me to say Thank You for your time an attention to this article and Thank You for your support of The Inspired Business Center.
Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.
You are welcome to more fully explore Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability meet by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com
Photo Attribution http://www.flickr.com/photos/27282406@N03/4134661728/