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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thank You's

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to share with you the benefits and power of two simple words. THANK YOU.

They are two words that have the power to transform our health, happiness, athletic performance and success. Research shows that grateful people are happier and more likely to maintain good friendships. A state of gratitude, according to research by the Institute of HeartMath, also improves the heart's rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically. It's actually physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. When you are grateful you flood your body and brain with emotions and endorphins that uplift and energise you rather than the stress hormones that drain you.

Gratitude and appreciation are also essential for a healthy work environment. In fact, the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because they don't feel appreciated. A simple thank you and a show of appreciation can make all the difference.

Gratitude is like muscle. The more we do with it the stronger it gets.

In this spirit here are 4 ways to practice Thanksgiving every day of the year.

1. Take a Daily Thank You Walk - Take a simple 10-minute walk each day and say out loud what you are thankful for. This will set you up for a positive day.

2. Meal Time Thank You's - On Thanksgiving, or just at dinner with your friends and family, go around the table and have each person, including the children, say what they are thankful for.

3. Gratitude Visit - Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the father of positive psychology, suggests that we write a letter expressing our gratitude to someone. Then we visit this person and read them the letter. His research shows that people who do this are measurably happier and less depressed a month later.

4. Say Thank You at Work - Doug Conant, the CEO of Campbell Soup, has written over 16,000 thank you notes to his employees and energised the company in the process. Energise and engage your colleagues and team by letting them know you are grateful for them and their work. And don’t forget to say thank you to your clients and customers too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Expressing Gratitude for Your Colleagues

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on those things for which we are most grateful. And as a leader you know that it is important to express your gratitude - not only on key holidays - but regularly when the situation warrants. Although a simple “Thank You” can go a long way, you should always be on the lookout for additional opportunities to show your colleagues just how much you appreciate them and their daily contributions.

Here are a few suggestions of practical ways that you can express your gratitude for your colleagues:

Provide public praise for a job well done. Whenever a colleague performs exceptionally well, you should always acknowledge their accomplishments and celebrate their successes in front of their colleagues. To do so shows just how extraordinary the performance was and how much you appreciate the outstanding effort.

Offer to cover when a day off is needed. Do you have a colleague who has been working at maximum capacity? Show your appreciation (and your compassion) by offering to cover while he/she takes a much-needed break.

Lend a helping hand in return. Whenever a colleague helps you with an assigned project or lightens your administrative load by taking on additional tasks, thank them and then take action to find a way to reciprocate.

Give your undivided time and attention. Individuals feel most appreciated when their thoughts and opinions are heard and acknowledged. Show your gratitude by carving time out of your schedule to get to know your colleagues and provide them with your full focus and attention.

Present opportunities for growth and development. Show your colleagues that you appreciate and care about them by seeking out ways to help them learn and grow. Can you delegate an assignment that would provide a new learning experience? Do you know of a training programme that would expand their technical knowledge? A great way to show gratitude to your colleagues is to personally invest in their success.

As you look forward to Thanksgiving, take a look around you and ask yourself what you can do to express your gratitude to your colleagues. Seize the moment and show your colleagues how much you appreciate them and their continuous contributions.