Friday Thanks

Possibly the most challenging item on the Stress Less Take 5.

On Fridays, rather than internal reflection of gratitude, I am encouraging people to write or speak to their line manager to tell them what they are grateful for in the week past. By Friday, they will have 4 days of Daily Gratitude recorded somewhere, so content should take no time at all. Again, I specifically instruct them to be grateful for something they’ve achieved.

I adapted this from a popular lifehack that advises you to email your boss every Friday to tell him or her what you accomplished that week. Part of the logic of the original is that no matter how attentive your boss is, they only see part of your performance: this is very true. It will benefit all team members for the line manager to have clearer picture of what’s going on. I’m convinced it will also counter negativity: no one is immune to the warmth you feel on hearing good news. If members of the team are in the habit of sharing with one another what they are grateful for, and acknowledging each other for their contributions, I believe they will approach each other more kindly when the pressure is on.

This task is challenging in a couple of ways:

  • it’s not ‘normal’ workplace behaviour
  • everyone hates commenting on their own performance
  • there’s a certain amount of emotional vulnerability required
  • many people struggle to see their boss as whole person.

The last two make the argument for doing this. We can’t compartmentalise ourselves: we bring our whole selves to the workplace, then try to be pretend we only bring our brains, and the bit of our bodies necessary for doing our job.

To help people along, I share what I send to my boss with the participants. One of my direct reports is doing it, and at least one other person is doing it too. Can we make it catch on?

 

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