November is the month of Thanksgiving, where many of us reflect on what we are grateful for. If you haven’t considered the value of gratitude in the collaborative process, I encourage you to give it some thought. Gratitude is infectious, motivates others, and strengthens team relationships. An environment full of gratitude encourages team members and clients alike to give their best.
Gratitude is a core of principle needed for team effectiveness and growth of the collaborative movement. Many team members are gracious people and show appreciation often. It’s just that gratitude isn’t always at the forefront of our minds. If we gave it more thought and made it a practice to show gratitude, I would think that the benefit would reach from head to heart and increase the satisfaction of a job well done.
Here are six simple ways to increase gratitude in your collaborative practice.
1. Create an atmosphere of gratitude
Gratitude not only makes us feel appreciated, it also allows us to experience the good feelings we engender by our thoughtful acts. After being thanked for their personal contributions, team members may increase feelings of value and worth, which in turn increase their likelihood of repeating that helpful behavior.
2. Recognize contributions of others
There is a lot of value in recognizing and highlighting times when team members take the time to acknowledge others. It sends a signal that generous and honest attribution of credit is something that the team values. For the collaborative team to connect and members to be open to learning, problems solving, and options, gratitude is the component that sets positivity into motion.
3. Acknowledge that the team’s success depends on others
Remember your own hard work has meaning, but everything you have ever learned that make you successful has come from someone else’s mentoring, teaching, and/or experience.
4. Be sincere
Aim for quality not quantity. Utilize spontaneous and authentic expressions of gratitude. Details are important so be specific when thanking others. To make sure you’re taking advantage of the benefits of appreciation and acknowledgment, try building intentional and genuine thanking into your team meetings or off line meetings.
5. Be humble
Know your own limits, strengths, and weaknesses. Stand out of the spotlight from time to time and give other team members opportunities to shine.
6. Put it in writing
Acknowledging the whole team with a warm email will highlight the critical support of each individual, and boost the happiness of an entire group of individuals instead of just one. Giving a thank you card ensures that a teamwork may be difficult but not in vain. While most people don’t associate divorce with thank you writing, most successful firms and teams know that gratitude builds morale along the organization and good will beyond it’s doors.