Karlin Sloan is the founder and CEO of Karlin Sloan and Company, Ms. Sloan provides organization development consulting, training and executive coaching to clients the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia. She is the author of Smarter, Faster, Better; Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2006) and Unfear (January 2011).
Thanksgiving week is a great time to reflect on the latest research in positive psychology and its application to the workplace.
Gratitude, according to Dr. Alex Wood, a posgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, "is a life orientation towards noticing and appreciating the world. As such, gratitude is an integral part of well-being. Gratitude can be contrasted with a depressive bias - where depressed people focus on the negative in the self, world, and future. A grateful personality leads to well-being during everyday life."
As a leader, are you setting the stage for gratitude in your organization?
Gratitude benefits a team or organization in lots of ways. When employees are grateful, research shows that they may be more optimistic, have a better immune response and less absenteeism. They may be more engaged at work and excited to contribute to others.
Grateful people live longer! In a study reviewing the lives of 180 Catholic nuns it was found that the women who expressed gratitude and other positive emotions in their 20s lived an average of ten years longer than their peers who had a more negative or neutral bias.
When we are grateful, we report higher levels of life satisfaction, greater energy, and deeper connections with others. What if our organizations cultivated that simple magic? We'd reduce our healthcare costs, we'd enhance our performance, and we'd have much nicer environments to go to on a daily basis.
Try this - at your next team meeting ask everyone to begin by saying one thing they are grateful for. You'll be glad you did.
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