Being thankful doesn't always come easily, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed, overworked, unacknowledged, or stressed. As with many skills you learn, having an attitude of gratitude takes practice. Here are some simple steps you can take to hone your newest soft skill.
Write a note.
Remember the good old days when you'd get a handwritten letter in the mail? What a great feeling that is, knowing someone was thinking of you and took the time to send you a message. In this day and age, a handwritten note can come as an even more pleasant surprise than ever. Try to find an opportunity to handwrite a message this week or next. Short on time? Don't have stationary handy (download our free 5x7 thank you post card template)? An email or social media message is also an effective medium to thank others.
Job Seeker Tip: Follow up after your next interview with a handwritten 'thank you' note to the employer. Include a message of gratitude for the interviewer’s time, a comment about your discussion – perhaps noting a particular topic you thought more about after you met, and a sign-off that expresses your continued interest in the position.
Acknowledge your team.
No matter your current status – working professional, stay-at-home parent, college student – you are part of a team. Our teams and support systems vary, but we can always express our thanks to them when relevant. Being a part of a team is a daily opportunity to practice giving thanks. If one of your co-workers takes the initiative to schedule a meeting or help move a project along, make sure that you acknowledge his or her extra effort.
Give a little, get a little.
For some people, giving thanks is easy, but receiving it is a different story. Maybe we feel undeserving, we don't want to be selfish, or we don't want to have the spotlight on us. However, when a person shows gratitude for something you've done, graciously accept and acknowledge the comment. Graciously receiving thanks is just as important as giving it.
Actions speak louder than words.
Not "good with words" but still interested in building an attitude of gratitude? Act with kindness, see things from another person's perspective, jump in to help without being asked – all of these things are actions that display gratitude. None of them involve words, and sometimes that's even better. This directive from John F. Kennedy speaks to the importance of action: "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
DID YOU KNOW? According to Forbes, one of the best ways to create a great company culture is to enhance employee morale by showing appreciation. Maybe having an attitude of gratitude will have a bigger impact than you’d think.
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This blog post created by Megan L., Talent Acquisition Specialist at Great West Casualty Company.
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