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Can you cultivate gratitude in the workplace?

2 min read

Have you ever written a thank-you haiku for a colleague? Or organized a flash mob to surprise a coworker who was just laid off?

How about this, then: when was the last time you told a colleague how much you appreciated them?

If you had to reach back a bit to recall the last time you showed thanks at work, you’re not alone. According to a study by the John Templeton Foundation:

  • Short thank you note left on a desk.People are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anywhere else.
  • Most people feel better when they thank someone at work, yet surprisingly only a small number do this regularly.

Why are thank-yous rare at work? Because we have to make it an intentional practice, says Chris Murchison in his 13-minute talk, “Cultivating Gratitude in the Workplace.” The importance of expressing gratitude can easily be overlooked in the drive of day-to-day business. Plus, being grateful sometimes requires us to be a bit vulnerable, which—let’s face it—work cultures don’t typically encourage. But the benefits of making gratitude a part of the workplace are deep and lasting, according to Murchison, vice president of staff development and culture at HopeLab.

I thought it appropriate to share his talk, especially given Discprofile’s focus on workplace relationships, the functions of teams and—here in my posts—giving effective presentations. Murchison’s talk is casual, joyful, and inspirational, with some real-world examples of how HopeLab integrates an attitude of gratitude (including haikus and flash mobs) into its culture.

You can find more inspirational talks like Murchison’s at the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center website. Founded in 2001, the GGSC is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to exploring the scientific basis and benefits of qualities such as compassion, altruism, respect, trust, tolerance, and wisdom. It sponsors groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being and helps people apply this research to their personal and professional lives.

To read more about the psychological, emotional, and physical benefits of gratitude (it boosts your immune system!), visit the GGSC’s “Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude.”

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you and your interest.

There. I said it.

Editor’s note: is grateful for its relationship with the creative and supportive John Capecci, and for everyone who uses DiSC® to make their workplace a little healthier.


John Capecci

Communication strategist, coach and consultant. Author of Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference

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