Her silver-beaded floor-length gown sparkled, offset by a glittering diamond bracelet, matching earrings and a huge smile.
But despite being all dressed up, what Janice Kaplan remembers most when she sees the photo of herself, taken when she was the executive producer of FOX television special “The TV Guide Awards Show,” was that she was focused only on “the obligations of the show and whether the ratings would live up to expectations,” she writes in her latest book, “The Gratitude Diaries: How A Year Looking on the Bright Side Transformed My Life.”
It’s one example of how Kaplan, an accomplished media professional, didn’t fully appreciate the job she had. As she writes “The Gratitude Diaries,” changing her perspective — from focusing on the narrow day-to-day stresses to being thankful for the bigger picture, both at work as well as at home and in her relationships — helped her understand the advantages of appreciation.
As a small business owner, such benefits can help your company’s bottom line.
Kaplan’s book expands on a John Templeton Foundation study, which found that 81% of people surveyed said they would work harder for a more grateful boss, and 70% felt better about themselves — and therefore, more likely to be productive employees — if their boss expressed appreciation.
What can you learn from being thankful?
1. Savor the success
Whether it’s meeting a sales amount, landing a new project, or hiring a fantastic new team member, ambitious people may consider setting and achieving goals while on the job. But instead of simply moving on to the next one, recognize the right now with a big dose of gratitude, writes Kaplan.
Doing so lets you recognize what you've accomplished and allows you to appreciate it. If you always only look ahead and only focus on personal and professional growth, you won't be happy with what you already have.
2. Recognition, not resignation
It’s not a sign of weakness to show appreciation. “Being grateful for your current job doesn’t make you less ambitious,” she writes. “It just makes you happier — and probably more productive — in the moment. You can be grateful for the now of your career — and still soar in the future.”
Similarly, bosses who think that paying their employees is all the gratitude they need don’t see the bigger picture. “Executives who assume that saying thank you, or appreciating someone’s work, lessens their power are missing the point,” Kaplan writes. “Being appreciated is one of the great motivators on the job — even better than money.” It will encourage employees to seek additional opportunities for professional growth.
3. Recognition builds relationships
Sometimes you can’t achieve professional growth alone. Strong ties to others, through networking or having good interactions with others, can be the building blocks of a great career.
In the Templeton survey, 96% of people agreed that a grateful boss is most likely to be successful, since people will rally behind her, Kaplan says. “Nobody gets to the top on their own. If you help enough people and give them positive feedback, there’s a good chance they’ll turn around and help you out, too.”
About the Author
Cheryl Alkon is a freelance writer and has written for publications including USA Today, The New York Times, Prevention.com, More, Women’s Day, ENT Today, and Oncology Business Management. Find her at cherylalkon.com.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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