Date: April 17, 2022
Written by Meredith Gaston Stuart
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The alarm clock goes off and with it, another working week begins.
Around the world, Monday is the perpetual recalibration of the marketplace – a collective realigning to the tasks at hand. And with it, a general litany of agenda items, meetings, and responsibilities. Not to mention the needs, opinions, and ideas of the greatest asset of any leader – your people.
It is easy to see why a leader could easily be diagnosed with a “case of the Mondays”. Leaders are solution-makers, which also means they are problem-fixers. And those problems seem to blare out just as loudly with every beep of that alarm clock on Monday morning.
So, for a “case of the Mondays”, what is the cure? It is a solution far easier spoken than accomplished. The cure is gratitude – the quality of being thankful.
Yet, gratitude is not a word often associated with the marketplace. In fact, in any given workplace, grumbling and discontentment will often become the norm. Why is that? Because, complaining is easy. It can temporarily make you feel better and costs you very little, because you are generally venting sideways to a person not responsible for the issue at hand. But if left unchecked, discontentment can grow like a weed in the garden of company culture. Until suddenly, everyone starts looking around and wondering why they were even there to begin with.
That is why leaders must be the foremost examples in their workplaces of recognizing and expressing sincere gratitude and appreciation. When gratitude is lavished from the top-down, there will naturally be an increase in employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. In a study by psychologists, Grant and Gino, they discovered that gratitude also has a spill-over effect. As we thank people, we foster trust and trust fosters cooperation. It is through gratitude that your people will know that they are truly “your people”. Gratitude is where your people find their place and know their value within your organization. In that sense, gratitude is not just a cure for your “case of the Mondays”, but when given the proper attention, it can be the cure for your employees as well.
But gratitude is not simply a mental shift. To do it's transforming work, gratitude must be the natural response of a changed heart. And in that way, gratitude bears witness to a truly integrated life – where the anchor of our spiritual life is put on display in our personal and professional responses.
Reflection for Leaders:
As a leader, who and what are you grateful for today?
How will you share that gratitude with the people you lead?
How can you begin, today, to foster a gratitude culture in your workplace and what do you dream could be possible because of it?
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