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Grease some palms with gratitude
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This week: Thanks are in order.
This time of year, you’re going to be reminded that you need to be thankful. But if you’re working on Thanksgiving or are otherwise scraping by during the holidays, being told to be thankful while you’re grinding it out can actually have the opposite effect.
But remember: Things could be worse. And odds are, you’re going to be in a better place next year.
Many of us have our colleagues to thank, too. Often, they’re the ones who help us reach the next step, open the next door, or help us find a workaround. While I personally never had a professional mentor, I have had many people — coworkers, bosses, managers — who helped me grow and develop. While some of them simply gave me a quiet nudge, others were more explicit in telling me what I needed to do or who I needed to talk to in order to move on to the next phase of my career. In some cases, that meant me moving on to another job or company, essentially sacrificing the professional relationship I had with those people in the first place.
While it’s difficult to move on sometimes, I can’t help but be extremely grateful and thankful for what they did for me. I can think of dozens of names off the top of my head, and now that I’m reflecting on it, I should probably reach out to some of them to express my gratitude.
Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about, anyway?
With that, if you’re in a position to do so, give your younger or less experienced colleagues a nudge or some advice, if they’re open to it. And if you’re looking for advice? Ask. In my experience, a lot of people are willing to help if they know you need it.
To sum it up, be thankful for the favors or guidance that you’ve received over the years. And be especially thankful to those who gave you a chance.
Gratitude in action:
1. A little gratitude at work goes a long way
2. Why you need to learn to both give and receive thanks
1. A little gratitude can make a splash at work
When you’re at work, drinking bad coffee (I like to say that my office’s coffee isn’t coffee at all, but rather the recycled water from the dishwasher) and mass-deleting emails, it’s easy to get caught up in negativity. But if you try to have a little more gratitude for what you do have — maybe you sit in a nice, warm office with a chair and internet access — it can be contagious.
According to The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, the research into gratitude in the workplace has produced some interesting findings:
“Results so far link it to more positive emotions, less stress and fewer health complaints, a greater sense that we can achieve our goals, fewer sick days, and higher satisfaction with our jobs and our coworkers.”
A little gratitude clearly goes a long way.
The takeaway: Be mindful of how grateful you are at work, and especially about how you express it. A little gratitude can have big effects.
2. Why you need to give and receive thanks
Many people can’t take a compliment. Or when you try to thank them, they wave you off and change the subject. It can be weird to have someone praise you for what is in many cases common decency, or just doing what you’re supposed to.
But learning to receive thanks is just as important as giving thanks. UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, the author of The Little Book of Gratitude: Creating a Life of Happiness and Wellbeing by Giving Thanks, told Fast Company that giving and receiving gratitude is actually “a basic human requirement.”
One of the big reasons that we need to learn to accept praise as well as give it is that gratitude is a sort of currency in the workplace:
“It is not only a response to kindnesses received, but it is also a motivator of future benevolent actions on the part of the recipient,” says Emmons. “Serving these functions, gratitude enhances our own well-being in that we are built for relationships,” he points out. “Gratitude is the high-octane fuel that, without which, we’d be in relational ruin.”
The takeaway: Grease some palms with gratitude.
What I’ve been writing about:
A report from Fidelity shows that a lot of investors own too much stock, relative to other investments. That may be a problem.
Payday loans have evolved. Meet their new form: online installment loans.
If you want to check those articles out and share them, I’d appreciate it.
That’s all for now. Keep fighting the good fight.
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