Developing An Attitude of Gratitude
- Why develop an Attitude of Gratitude? – you might be wondering how this is relevant to you. From my perspective I always used to focus on the things that went wrong and I was highly critical of myself and others. But by developing an Attitude of Gratitude I am more positive about life in general, more enthusiastic despite obstacles and much better at encouraging others. This has both impacted on my quality of life, as well as the relationships I have with others – I know that my colleagues, friends and family have noticed the difference!
- Are you a glass is half empty or half full person? Do you see the things that have gone wrong rather than what went well? Are you more likely to see other people’s faults and failings, rather than their strengths? If you are this kind of person then you might find it beneficial to start seeing the glass as half full. Both you and the people around you will find it more motivating and constructive. Start by spotting the things that go well, the things that people do right, and start to show appreciation of these.
‘Most people see what is, and never see what can be.’ Albert Einstein
- Catch people doing things well – we can often be quick to catch people when they are doing things wrong or when they forget to do something and then ignore the times when they do. This can be equally true of work relationships, marriages and relationships with children! This can be very frustrating for the people on the receiving end of your comments. There is a theory that you get what you focus on, so the more you focus on the positives, the more you will see.
‘I can live for two months on a good compliment.’ Mark Twain
- Ignore people’s dismissal of your thanks/praise – Sadly most people are not used to getting words of praise or thanks and will often react to this by dismissing it. This does not mean that they are not appreciating you doing it, but that they might just be embarrassed. You will find that the more you do it the more that they will feel comfortable with it.
- Be specific – the more specific you are about your praise or thanks the more of an impact it will have on the recipient. It is also harder to brush off a thanks or piece of praise if it is specific. For example: ‘I really appreciated when you summarised the key points in the meeting, we had been going round and round for ages and your summary helped us to move on.’ Or at home with children ‘I really appreciated you tidying your room as it has meant that I have had time to help your brother with his homework. Thanks.’
- What if nobody thanks you? It can be easy to fall into the kind of thinking that if others don’t show appreciation of you, then you feel less inclined to appreciate them. But what goes around comes around, and once you start showing more appreciation of others then, from my experience you’ll see it returned to you.
‘It’s never too late to become what you might have been.’ George Eliot
- What if people do things wrong or things go wrong? Having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ and showing appreciation of others does not mean that you become a soft touch. I am quick to praise and thank others, but also clear and honest when things go wrong. However I find that with a half full view of life, I am more relaxed so that if things do go wrong I can approach the situation and person in a calmer and more balanced manner.
‘If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.’ Goethe
Want more Inspiration? If you want any support in Developing An Attitude of Gratitude either for yourself or your team, we can offer 1:1 support or group workshops to assist you in doing this. Just call 01865 377334 or email email@example.com to arrange a time to speak in confidence. For more information about Grovelands visit our website: www.grovelands.org.uk.
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Gratitude in all aspects of life
It is worth looking at all the different aspects of your life to assess whether you are seeing the good things in life and show your appreciation.
Home life, your family
With friends, colleagues, clients
While shopping, commuting, holidaying
‘If we knew that tonight we were going to go blind we would take a longing, last real look at every blade of grass, every cloud formation, every speck of dust, every rainbow, raindrop – everything.’
How can Grovelands help you?
Some people receiving this newsletter have asked ‘What does Grovelands do?’ So over the next few issues I will describe different aspects of our work.
Enhancing Effective Team Work – We run programmes to support teams in exploring how they interact and communicate with each other and other teams. Teams and individuals can fall into unproductive ways of communicating with each other especially when under pressure. We aim to help teams work effectively, efficiently and enjoyable together.
If your team is working less than happily together call us to discuss the issues in confidence.
Look out for March’s issues of ‘Inspire’ that will be about Managing Challenging Interactions – whether these are to do with people you work with, clients, customers or family members!
‘Inspire’ is designed to give you a moment to stop and think about what you do and how you do it. To help you to achieve maximum benefit from what you do with minimum effort.
to individuals, partnerships, SMEs and national organisations.