Recently, the Huffington Post blog reported a story on how key Life Model Works skills, Gratitude, were central to the success of a growing startup. You can read the whole story in their story Driving a Culture of Candor in Business (And How My Therapist Helped) here.
If we lost that, I thought, we were sunk. Our lovely product would suffer. Resentment would build from one decision to the next. People would not be challenged; people would not grow. Our clients would eventually catch on and start running for the hills.
To be clear, my fears had nothing to do with the team we’d built. These were amazing people. But even amazing people, like the rest of us, tend to be wary of conflict, even if it has good intentions.
So, I talked this whole thing out with my counselor. He took my thoughts a step further, “People have a hard enough time showing appreciation to another’s face, let alone expressing discontent.”
Appreciation is the root of my counselor’s doctrine. He thinks if we show it all day long, it will make everything better. I am oversimplifying here, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it. In his head, showing appreciation is this ever-available, soul-cleansing activity that nobody seems to take advantage of.
So, like he did at the end of all our phone calls (he counsels me from afar), he encouraged me to practice appreciation every day. Be genuine. Be vocal. Build a habit of sharing your gratitude.
Turns out, the guy is on to something. I have never been shy with the team about how much they mean to me, but I began being more deliberate about my feedback. When Aaron did something heroic, I told him that I admired him. When Corey showed his diligence, I told him that I admired him. When Tara jumped into her first job out of college, without fear, I explained that my younger self was not so bold, and that I admired her.
Learn how to develop your own practice of appreciation in Joyful Journey.