Gratitude in the workplace: How gratitude can improve your well-being and relationships

Developing your sense of gratitude is an excellent way to improve your own well-being, but it doesn’t stop there. According to Chris Schembra, Founder and Chief Question Asker at 7:47, gratitude in the workplace is also the true “secret sauce” for building better relationships with your customers and your team. His team at 7:47 has been helping companies create more meaningful connections through scientifically backed approaches, and in his five-part Prezi Video series, Chris shares his tips for fostering and expressing gratitude. 

The potential of gratitude 

Too often, people are driven and motivated by “on-paper” metrics, such as securing a fancy title or finally buying that one thing they’ve been eyeing. But Chris has been there, and even though everything looked good on paper, he still felt lonely, unfulfilled, insecure, and disconnected. 

He eventually realized that he’d been chasing joy in the wrong way — by embracing a mindset of gratitude, he found a way to connect with others. Expressing gratitude in workplaces will lead to more productive teams, better retention, and lasting connections with customers. Watch his first Prezi video for more on the potential of gratitude

The principles of gratitude 

The very nature of gratitude is defined by retrospection, and this, argues Chris, is a good thing. When people become obsessed with the future, that uncertainty can turn into anxiety and stress. Gratitude forces us to pull from the past to reframe our present perspective, which can result in more impactful behavior. 

In a business meeting, for example, gratitude can lead to a “posture of openness,” where you display more engaged body language, listen more actively, and ask more thoughtful questions. The best part? Gratitude is free, easy, and immediate. Learn more about the principles of gratitude in the workplace in part two of Chris’s videos: 

The value of gratitude

The value that workplace gratitude can bring to your connections and relationships can’t be understated. In part three of his Prezi video series, Chris outlines how gratitude can act as a moral barometer (how open is the other person to connecting?), a moral motivator (how can I pay this forward?), and a moral reinforcer (how can I turn the act of giving into a habit?). In studying gratitude, Chris has also found that science shows it can help develop self-confidence, hope, curiosity, optimism, creativity, and more. 

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When interacting with customers, gratitude can lead to a loop that drives more business. By expressing gratitude to your customers, you make them happier, which in turn leads to referrals, and circles back to gratitude. Watch Chris’s video for more on the value of gratitude:

Gratitude and love languages 

Gratitude is also often closely associated with the five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and receiving gifts. Chris explains that this is because you can’t have love without expressing gratitude, and stresses that this isn’t just limited to romantic love. In all of your interactions, it’s better to show gratitude in a way that the recipient would appreciate, rather than the way you want to — this is a core tenet of gratitude, and being cognizant of how people like to receive it is crucial. 

Watch part four of the series to learn more about the love languages, along with a great example of Tamils, a South Indian people, and how their culture is centered on gratitude:

The origins of gratitude 

One of the points that Chris reiterates throughout his videos is that gratitude is universal. But by “universal,” he isn’t only referring to people — gratitude can be seen throughout the entire animal kingdom. He points to examples with primates — rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees, in particular — and how they show thanks for grooming activity, as well as dogs and their unconditional love. Find out more about how animals express gratitude in part five: 

It’s time to shift away from a “me first” mentality and apply gratitude to both interpersonal and business relationships. If you have your own tips or insights to share, create your own Prezi video and tag it with #gratitude. Not only will we be thankful, we may also feature your video on our Video Gallery

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