Gratitude and a High Performance Team

Improving and changing your organization takes work and energy.  Gratitude is a way to replenish the gas tank so you can keep improving.  Our brains are wired to minimize energy usage and have two basic systems for thinking – System 1 and System 2 (Thinking Fast and Slow).  System 1 is a quick gut response and system 2 is a more complex thinking through the details process.  System one is easy and requires almost no energy to execute while system two is much more in depth and requires more thinking.  A classic example of system one thinking is asking a person to spell SILK three times then ask what do cows drink?  They drink water but the majority of the time people answer milk.  That is system one at work.

When you are trying to get better and improve your teams output that is hard work and requires system two type activities.  This takes a lot of energy and you’re also focusing on what you aren’t doing right.  This can be very draining and demoralizing to a team if not managed properly.  Gratitude can be one way to mitigate the issues you have energy depletion.1  Practicing this is easy as a concept but hard to execute.  A simple way to start is to start your day with three items you are grateful for.  In addition start off meetings with an item of gratitude from each person there.  Gratitude can help with coping with stress and keep your team moving forward.  Think of it as a cross country road trip and gratitude is the fuel in the car.

 

 

  1.  FEHR, R., FULMER, A., AWTREY, E., & MILLER, J. A. (2017). THE GRATEFUL WORKPLACE: A MULTILEVEL MODEL OF GRATITUDE IN ORGANIZATIONS. Academy Of Management Review42(2), 361-381.