How to feel valued at work …
“One kind word can warm three winter months”
Ancient Japanese proverb
When you’re not feeling valued, sometimes a bit of gratitude can make the biggest difference. It might be a simple smile across a shop counter or something more deliberate, like “I really appreciate how you did that”. Expressing gratitude or appreciation helps others to feel valued.
But what about me? You might say. I’m the one who’s not valued. I’m working hard without recognition. They should be appreciating me!
We hear you. But here’s the logic: expressing gratitude can bring into view good that’s here but unnoticed. When you bring good work to conscious attention by acknowledging it, you enable others to notice it too. And it creates a mirror effect. As I appreciate my colleagues, they are more likely to appreciate me.
Our book, Work Passion Power, digs deeper into this gratitude effect in the chapter “Love it or hate it—choose” (p. 66). Get the Book – www.workpassionpower.co.nz
There is very little downside to gratitude. When you acknowledge something good in a colleague, you open the possibility of amplifying a worthwhile behaviour, attitude, or action.
Whole workplaces can be transformed by this, from director level to shop floor. Workplace wellbeing can be dramatically improved. We know because we see it happen.
Sure, we all still have to do the stuff we have to do. But there is a whole winter’s worth of cold wet months that can be warmed under the influence of heartfelt acknowledgement.
Why not put a stake in the ground? Give it a go. Make a point of expressing your gratitude at least once a day for something a colleague has done.
Noticing is important. In the turmoil of work, it’s easy to forget to act on commitments like this. It takes some concentration. So, at the end of each day make a diary note of whom you acknowledged and for what. Start today, and trial it for a month—and by then it will be spring.
Do it for its own sake
Taking on this gratitude commitment to feel more valued yourself is good. But doing this to make a wider contribution to your workplace is much better. This is the stuff of leadership.
Do it to make the office more liveable, to “improve things around here”.
Surprisingly, even just thinking about what you are grateful for in a difficult colleague or situation can make a difference. It can soften what seem like impossible situations and shed light on new solutions. But thinking and deliberately expressing gratitude make the biggest difference.
Training & Coaching
Our workshops are interwoven with ideas like these. Have a look at our current list of Capability Development Workshops 2019.
Cheers to a warm winter!
Frances and Max