Cultivating Gratitude

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How many times have you said thank you without actually feeling… well… grateful? Muttering thanks to the person who held the door for you earlier, the barista who made your latte, and even your sign off “Thanks!” on all your emails can sometimes ring hollow. The sentiment, and most importantly, the good feelings you have behind the words are lost.

Honestly, if you did keep track of “moments of gratitude”, you would have a dozen things to be thankful for just in that morning on your way to work!

Don’t worry. You don’t have to keep track of ALL of it. How about five things? That sounds almost doable, right?

Putting your problems in perspective by focusing on the positive is the first step in overcoming them. And, there’s so much more. Here are some more unexpected benefits to starting a gratitude journal:

1. Good things DO happen and you finally have the “receipts” to prove it! A gratitude journal is literally your important paperwork of life.

2. You keep only memories that bring you joy. Have you ever gone through your old teenage journals and think … “What was I so upset about?! I had free food and wifi!”? If you want a happy life, record only the happy memories and let the bad times slip into oblivion along with your high school locker combination.

3. It’s the perfect way to end your day. Who doesn’t want to have their stress levels lowered right before bed? Skip the Tylenol PM and grab your gratitude journal instead.

4. Your future self will thank you. This is a little bit meta, but by writing out what you are grateful for now, you give your future self something to be grateful for. Gratitude is simply happiness you recognize at a later date.

5. You will find that you go through life extra attuned to “gratitude inspiring” events. How cool is that?

Starting and maintaining a gratitude journal sounds daunting, but it is so worth it. Here are some handy tips and tricks to get started.

1. Keep a small notebook and pen next to your bedside table. You can later invest in a fancy personalized journal. Whatever you have on hand will do just fine.

2. Write – don’t type. Research shows that the physical act of writing is soothing in and of itself.

3. Take a moment to think through what you are grateful for today. Just today. It may not make sense to anyone who is reading it, and that’s okay!

4. Stay the course. This isn’t a journal of events. This isn’t a place to write out your frustrations. Stay positive and keep out the negative.

5. Keep it secret. Don’t share it with anyone. It will only stymie your true thoughts and feelings. Your gratitude journal is a judgement free zone.

Are you ready to smile at the end of every work day? Keeping a gratitude journal is a hidden life hack for being healthier, happier, and more productive.

Try it!

 

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How to Be a Great Manager if You Tend to See the Glass Half Empty but Want to Inspire Your Team

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Thank goodness it is FRIDAY!

Everything that could have gone wrong this week – did!

But, let’s face it, right now – this feels like every week. Things keep going wrong. Deadlines keep getting missed. And your team, OH YOUR TEAM.

You know they’re trying – and that they need some inspiration but… when you keep seeing everything that is going wrong it is a challenge to give your team what they need!

This week we have Coach Keith Edmunds with us to share how to inspire your team when you are seeing the glass half empty.

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There are many approaches to inspiring a team when your leadership tendency is to see the glass half empty. Often, inspiration will come with:

 

  1. action
  2. transparency and sharing the challenge together
  3. fun!

One of the best ways to make this real is in the form of an activity. Try to facilitate the meeting (not lead it!), where your team self-identifies the “half empties” and the “half fulls”. There, you can openly discuss the attributes, challenges, and possible outcomes of each style.

This is a great place to inspire your team not only to understand, but also to experience transparency through sharing the challenge together!

How do you add the fun in? Maybe expand the exercise by coming up with fun ways to “call it out” when negative or “half full” statements come out from anyone in the team, not just you. Practice this throughout the day, week, and month to continue the awareness journey.

Another approach is to notice the language you use. As you deliver the “glass half empty” messages, try to substitute words that are more inspirational – for example: “our poor performance “ with our “challenge” or “opportunities.”

Thank you, Keith!

Let us know what works for you or some of your best tips!