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How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude at Work

S. Davies is a business communications coach who gives workshops on how to keep your professional reputation squeaky-clean and drama-free.

Appreciating the people you work with everyday is an effective way to reduce stress and bring more joy and harmony to the workplace.

Appreciating the people you work with everyday is an effective way to reduce stress and bring more joy and harmony to the workplace.

The Benefits of Gratitude at Work

No matter how busy or stressed out we are at work, we must not forget to honor and give thanks to the people we work with. Maya Angelou once said, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Take just a few minutes to sow the seeds of gratitude and appreciation and watch them grow into even more abundant gifts to be thankful for at work.

The easiest way to find more happiness and satisfaction at work is to start appreciating all the good things you have going for you. Do you appreciate the people you work with? Do you take the time to thank you co-workers for their hard-work and support? Are you generous and sincere with your compliments and praise? Follow these eight simple steps and watch good things start to happen all around you, your co-workers, and your company.

8 Ways Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude at Work

  1. Write a letter to a co-worker telling him or her how thankful you are for all his or her hard work.
  2. Say thanks. Find a way to let your boss, manager, or team leader know how much you appreciate your job, the benefits, the training opportunities, or the flexibility–whatever makes you happy and grateful to have the job that you do. Expressing thanks for the things that you like and that make your life easier is a form of positive re-enforcement encourages the continued flow of good things towards you. By saying thanks, you are telling your boss what works rather than constantly complaining about what doesn't work. Gratitude and a positive attitude go hand in hand. It is impossible to have one without the other.
  3. Echo co-workers' attitudes of gratitude. Learn how to accept someone else’s expression of gratitude with grace and humility. Although we make think we are being humble and demure when we dismiss someone’s expression of gratitude to us as “It was nothing,” we are actually insulting the person who has just given us a compliment. By minimizing someone else’s expression of thanks, we rob them of the good feelings they get when they take the time to appreciate the world around them.
  4. Take a moment. Before you eat lunch, commence a meeting, or start working on a stressful project, say a silent prayer and give thanks for what you are about to eat, learn, or experience. Silently express your appreciation for the nourishing food, the stable job with a secure paycheck and the opportunity to grow and learn even when projects may seem challenging and stressful.
  5. Look around. Extend your gratitude outside your office to anyone you encounter throughout your workday: the gas station attendant, the server who always makes your mocha just the way you like it, the daycare worker who doesn’t complain when you arrive a few minutes late to pick up your child. By extending your circle of gratitude to those who support you while you work, you continue to invite the positive flow of good things toward you.
  6. Respond. Reply to all emails that you open with a simple “Thanks”; doing so will increase the number of times you positively express your gratitude each day. It takes less than 10 seconds to post a simple reply and it helps to improve communication by letting the other person know their message has been received.
  7. Be Personal and Specific. Always follow-up after every meeting you have outside of your office with a personalized thank you note (hand-written) or prompt e-mail. Be specific about two or three things that you liked about the meeting. To help make note writing a habit, keep a pretty box of note cards, envelopes and a package of stamps on your desk. It is easier, and more personal, to dash off a thank you note by hand rather than format a letter, address the envelope and push it through the mail machine.
  8. Celebrate gratitude. Covet and show off the cards and tokens of appreciation you have received from others. Pin up thank you notes, cards, photographs or other mementos of events and activities for which someone expressed their appreciation to you. (Keep copies of these letters and thank you notes in your own private file folder to support your next performance review or request for a raise.)

When you commit to acknowledging and appreciating the people you work with each day, you’ll soon find positive things (material, spiritual and emotional) flowing your way effortlessly. Expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress, enhance relationships, increase your circle of influence and draw positive people to you at work.

A simple thank you card can go a long way towards strengthening your relationships at work.

A simple thank you card can go a long way towards strengthening your relationships at work.

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Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

— Aesop

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 S Davies


Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on March 02, 2013:

This is a wonderful way to live! Thank you. It is hard to focus on what we are grateful for when there are also problems. But you are right. If we do, it brings us into a flow of life and success. Voted up and awesome.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on July 23, 2012:

A hub to live by. If everyone in the workplace took the time to do this, I would definitely rethink my decision to work at home. Voted Up and Shared.

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