A couple of weeks ago I wrote about hosting a workshop at the Happy Manifesto conference at the Google offices in London. As I shared, my session was all about thanking people for their contribution at work. And trying to hide prizes under chairs without the person sitting in said chair realising. Tricky.
Over our lifetimes, we spend more time at work than any other activity after sleeping. It’s pretty easy to see that if all that time is spent feeling under-appreciated, taken for granted or disengaged then we’re not going to be particularly joyful. Nope. Not joyful at all.
Even if we harbour a secret, or not so secret (hello leaving the CV open on the desk top), desire to get the heck out of the job and to do work we love, let’s not sit hating our lives while we wait. We may end up falling back in love with the position or at least not want to staple things to our heads while we search for a different role. It’s easy to think that one person can’t make a difference, but that’s not true. One person makes all the difference.
So, today’s challenge is to look up from the computer, work the room and see who has done something you can thank them for today. It doesn’t matter what level they are or whether they’re part of your team or not. All that matters is that you’re going to lift their mood and you’re going to feel fantastic too.
You can speak to them, email them or leave them an anonymous note, but whatever you do, make a FUSS of them. Please excuse the management style acronym here. I know it’s cheesy but I was very excited when I came up with it:
Frequency. Try to thank your target as soon as possible after the thing that they’ve done. This has much more of an impact than letting your praise languish.
Unique. When you thank your target, mention their unique talent or skill which made their action so fabulous. Are they particularly positive, smiley, patient, generous, informed, calm, supportive, witty, driven? We all want to feel that people see who we really are, so note what makes them unique.
Specific. Thank them for a specific action. We want people to recognise what we’re bringing to a team. If we’re thanked for a ‘job well done’ or the generic ‘great results’ then it can be more demotivating than not saying anything at all. Hone your praise.
Showcase. Don’t be afraid to talk-up other people’s fabulousness. It doesn’t make you look less good, it makes you look generous, graceful and wise. Share your target’s talents with the rest of the team, their bosses or beyond.
So that’s the challenge. Thank one person today and if you work alone, you’re just going to have to be more creative. Us Joyful Revolutionists can be the catalysts that start a workplace revolution. It’s worth a try, no? Be sure to share how you get on.
And if you want to leave a note, then why not download one of these free printables from the lovely Gabrielle at The Green Gables. Gabrielle’s also one of the designers whose stationery we’re using at the Joyful Letter Writing Salon. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, then click here.
The quote above is by Steve Jobs and is available here.