Because of the lack of appreciation prevalent in the workplace today, it’s easy to fall into the trap of complaining about the annoying co-worker, the demanding boss, the department that just can’t get its act together, without realizing that each grumble and complaint is like coughing in the faces of your co-workers or spreading germs around the office.
According to Anita Fontana, who presents Attitude of Gratitude seminars, when you’re in the mindset of appreciation, your life is increasing in value. When you’re in the mindset of depreciation, your life is decreasing in value. At any given moment, each one of us has complete control over enriching the quality of our lives. All we have to do is raise our level of appreciation. The moment we do, we open ourselves up to a richer, more bountiful life.
Gratitude is not just saying “thank you” when someone holds the door for you or gives you a birthday gift. Fontana defines gratitude as “A meaningful gesture backed by sincerity of purpose that involves feelings. Gratitude is appreciation for the little things, an emotion that opens us up to seeing life in a more positive light, which produces feelings of excitement and joy. It makes the workplace more meaningful. And when people find meaning in their work, they generally find motivation to perpetuate that sense of meaningfulness”.
Can you imagine what your workplace would be like if all of your co-workers expressed genuine appreciation for each other? Fontana says, “With the power of gratitude and appreciation at your disposal, you can transform a negative atmosphere into a new spirit of appreciation in your office, empowering people, bringing enthusiasm and satisfaction back into their work and building strong bonds between employees.
You can make a difference at your office. In order to feel appreciated, you must begin by appreciating, you can’t wait around for others to change. It doesn’t matter what your boss is doing or what your co-workers are doing. You can take the responsibility for carrying the spirit of appreciation each day to your office, and letting the power of gratitude revitalize your workplace.
People are craving to be appreciated. As you show your appreciation towards your work, customers, vendors and co-workers, you will feel better and those around you will feel better too. Make a point of acknowledging people for who they are and what they do, let them know they’re valued and appreciated and that they and their work are important. True gratitude needs to be personal and genuine. It’s not just saying thank you, but how you show it that makes all the difference.
Here are some easy ways to say thank you at the office as shared by Anita Fontana:
- Send a thank-you email or e-greeting card. Our mailboxes are flooded daily with email telling us all the things we didn’t do, all the things we did wrong, or all the things we should be doing! Think how refreshing it would be for a co-worker to open their email and find a note of gratitude.
- Send a virtual box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers. They cost nothing and are calorie free!
- Take someone out for coffee or lunch “just because.”
- Leave a sticky note. Imagine how great someone would feel coming back from lunch, a boring meeting or the restroom to find a note of thanks stuck on their monitor or to their desk!
- Send a hand-written card or note. Everywhere I go people complain that all they ever get is junk mail and bills. Believe it or not, people long for a hand-written card or note in your handwriting, in an envelope, with a stamp on it! So keep a box of thank-you cards in your desk drawer and use them.
- Leave a thank you voicemail message. Most of us are inundated with voicemail messages that we’d like to delete two seconds after they start! You can make someone’s day by leaving a message thanking them for who they are or the great work they do.