Something Good to Come Out of America. Thank God!
As our American cousins celebrate Thanksgiving, here are some related ideas that may just have a positive impact on your organisation or business.
The 22nd November, being the forth Thursday of November, is when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Whilst the Spanish and the French held thanksgiving services in early 17th century America, the formal practice of expressing gratitude, sharing and giving away seems to have been around for millennia. Perhaps there’s something in it.
The late, great Jim Rohn encouraged us to learn to be both ambitious and content. Perhaps today is a day to be appreciative of and grateful for what we have and be thankful to those around us who make life more bearable.
Here are a few simple ideas for a day of thanksgiving in your workplace. Perhaps pick just one idea for yourself or your team.
Get your team together over coffee (perhaps you could make the coffee!) and ask everyone to think about and share all the things that are going well in your organisation. On most occasions we get together to talk about the things that aren’t so good, that are broken or about problems. An alternative approach to making things better, is to look at what’s working and discuss why those things are going so well. People become more engaged, creative and willing to change when they’re coming from a place of strength. Be thankful for what’s going well.
If that puts you on a bit of a roll, you could even ask your team members to think about and share what they appreciate about each other. Ask each person what they believe other people’s strengths are; how they make a positive contribution; things the other person does that they’re grateful for. You might just have people walking out of the room noticeably taller!
You could simply ask everyone to list out all the things they’re grateful for. (Being able to see and read this are two starters for 10 are probably 2 we take for granted.) We usually get more creative when we’re constrained so you could challenge them to come up with 20 things between waking up (there’s a 3rd!) and leaving the bathroom (which many people in the world don’t have – number 4). Or 20 twenty things about their office environment that they’re grateful for. Perhaps someone can’t even imagine life without spreadsheets!
How about writing cards to team members, suppliers, customers and/or service providers, thanking them for the specific ways in which they make you and your business feel special.
Perhaps spend the day walking around just looking for opportunities to just say thank you.
Perhaps buy some food in and encourage everyone to take a lunch break. Sharing food together creates a great environment for reflecting on what’s good about our situation, our organisation and the world. Perhaps ask everyone to share something about their life outside of work that they’re grateful for. The better we know what’s important and interesting to our colleagues, the stronger the relationships.
There’s an anachronistic view of workers in a business as cogs in a machine. The analogy of a living organism is far more accurate. We all have different skills and different parts to play. Some roles may be more critical than others but for the whole to perform at its best requires each part to play its part. Slowing down for an hour or so to recognise and be thankful for that might just precipitate an even better working environment.
Perhaps you should leave work early and surprise your family. Turn your evening meal into a meal of Thanksgiving. Perhaps try a gratitude exercise with them.
I’m convinced that if you embrace just one of these ideas and give it a go, you’ll be amazed at the impact it’ll have on your organisational relationships – and it’ll make you feel surprisingly good.
And who knows, you may want to have a Thanksgiving Day every year. Or month! Or week! Or day!!
Thanks for reading.
As always, if you’d like some help facilitating a team meeting or alignment session, please just ask. You don’t have to do it alone. email@example.com or call/message on 07931 882 555.