Expressing Gratitude Makes Us Better in Business

Expressing Gratitude Makes Us Better in Business

I’ve been digging into the analytics again. For the past month, quarter and year, one post on the Web Writing Advice blog has gathered the most pageviews.

And, it makes me grin ear to ear.

Celebrating Achievements on Social Media For Personal and Professional Gain focuses on being vocal about our accomplishments to not only boost our feel-good hormones, but to also inspire others to work toward their goals.

I am grateful readers are interested in this idea and may be looking for actionable ways to celebrate their achievements. Hard work should be recognized both by ourselves and others.

Over the past year I’ve been reading and learning more about gratitude and how it can amplify our mental health and wellness. I think anyone can use an extra boost now and again, so I decided to write this post, with a nod to my colleagues, from entrepreneurs like me to my friends in the content marketing world.

What is Gratitude?

Ah, pausing to be thankful instantly makes us feel content. But really, gratitude is a bit more complex than a simple exchange of pleasantries and resulting good vibes.

Our friends at Merriam-Webster reminds us that gratitude is linked to appreciation, gratefulness and thankfulness.

On a deeper level, let’s turn to research professor Brené Brown from the University of Houston. She’s known for her TED Talks, Netflix special, books and research about courage, shame, empathy and vulnerability. She also shares wisdom on the concept of gratitude.

“The relationship between joy and gratitude was one of the important things I found in my research. I wasn’t expecting it. In my 12 years of research on 11,000 pieces of data, I did not interview one person who had described themselves as joyful, who also did not actively practice gratitude,” Brown explains in an article written for Global Leadership Network.

She goes on to synthesize that practicing gratitude is what allows joy to enter our lives. Active journaling, speaking out and thinking about the things we are thankful for makes us more aware of the present moment, take inventory of our emotions and slow down.

Of course, these attributes are amazing additions to our personal lives, but they can also fuel our perspectives on and at work.

How Can Gratitude Make Us Better in Business?

Raise your hand if you’d love to have a little slower pace during the work day? How about the ability to more easily let go of feelings of frustration or anger related to a work task? And imagine having your head fully in the game at your next conference or meeting, rather than worrying about what’s happening in your email inbox?

Sounds magical, right?

I believe this reality starts with a shift in mindset. I wrote about this briefly in Are Your Writing Tasks Opportunities or Obligations where I challenge readers to realize the duties on their calendar truly are gifts that others would love to have the chance to tackle.

I recently read an article in Greater Good Magazine about a workplace consultant who was hired to boost the morale of a non-profit organization staff. She diffused tension and uncertainty by teaching the team the art of gratitude.

Her name is Stephanie Pollack and her education is something to swoon over. She holds an M.A. in Leadership, Education, and the Arts from Long Island University, a B.A. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, and certificates from the Intercultural Communication Institute (Teaming Across Difference, Training for International Transitions, Social Justice and Intercultural Communication in the Global Context) and the Rotary International Foundation (Peace and Conflict Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand).

Her three-day immersion into the business resulted in greater connection and authenticity among the employees. Their communication skills became more free-flowing and open. The team started to work together and move forward as a collective, tackling barriers together.

All of this hinged on each individual learning more about acknowledging and appreciating the good in their lives and organization.

Again, it’s truly a mindset shift.

Implementing a Gratitude Practice in Our Lives

I recently completed a 30-day gratitude challenge as a writing assignment for one of my content marketing clients. What started out as ‘just another’ project on my calendar has genuinely helped me shift my internal dialogue. It’s guided me in a healthy way through some immensely difficult personal situations and tough work tasks.

One takeaway from this experience is that gratitude doesn’t have to be big or elaborate. A simple thank you shared at the right moment can turn both you and another’s day around. It refocuses your mindset and shift feelings for everyone involved. Gratitude is powerful.

Whether you want to boost your gratitude at home or the office, I say go for it. Here are a few articles to browse for inspiration:

What are your thoughts on gratitude? Do you have a daily practice? Has it benefited your work? I’d love to know how gratitude plays a role in your life. Comment below!

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Note: This post was updated on November 20, 2019.

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