The simple truth is: The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.

When was the last time you told a colleague “good job”? Or, when was the last time you said “thank you” to a co-worker for their support on something, or said to your boss “I appreciate you”? Think about this for a moment….

We often spend our days at work with our heads down toiling away and never stop to think: I could use a little bit more love. Wouldn’t it be nice if you felt more valued for the work you do and the unique strengths you bring to the team? Wouldn’t it be nice if people showed their appreciation for you more? Wouldn’t more gratitude and celebration at work make it a more enjoyable place to spend your time?

Well, with most things in life, it begins with you. 

So, here’s something think about. When was the last time you praised your team mates in a team meeting, or called out an exceptional thing someone did on a project? When was the last time you openly celebrated people’s different and diverse skills they bring to the table?

I can tell you I didn’t used to think about these things. I can also tell you that I didn’t like work very much, either. And, because I wasn’t really showing much love for my colleagues, they didn’t really show much for me. This made it a bit of an isolating and lonely existence in the bowels of a corporate machine. I’ve been focusing a lot more in the past few years on the following:

  • Saying thank you and showing gratitude
  • Celebrating victories, both big and small

More positivity and more gratitude at work can go a long way in making not only your life more enjoyable, but work more enjoyable.

We get love by giving love. And by love, I don’t mean romantic love. I mean basic and core human caring for another human. I mean showing gratitude and appreciation for another person, saying thank you, and basically celebrating who that person is. Besides, when we express these things it actually helps us too. This is because expressing love in any form, releases the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, dopamine. The more love you send around, the more you’ll feel better.

Also, love has a way of being reciprocal. It’s a bit like karma and the saying “what goes around comes around.” I’m amazed now at how much more I enjoy work, connecting with my colleagues, and truly appreciating where I work, who I work with, and the work I’m doing. This is all because I started to pay attention to spreading some love around. The amazing thing is, now I get more myself.

Saying Thank You More Often

When you express thankfulness you realize all that you have and this in turn helps you appreciate more. It helps you value more what you do, that you have a good job, and you work with good people. Try this exercise: simply make a point to say thank you more often. Even for the small and expected things. Here are some examples:

  • Thank you for following up on that action item and completing it
  • Thank you for your ideas in the brainstorming session
  • Thank you for your suggestions for fixing a customer issue
  • Thank you for helping me complete an important task
  • Thank you for helping me launch that big project

Just practice saying thank you for everything. You’ll notice a few things when you do this.  

First, you’ll realize that your colleagues and co-workers are intricately tied to your success in a myriad thousand ways. You may not have realized how much they contribute to the fabric of what helps you be successful. Once you start saying thank you more, you’ll surely notice it.

Second, you’ll find that you may feel better about yourself when you say thank you all the time. It raises your niceness vibration and it makes you feel like you’re a good person more. Everyone likes to feel like they are a good person. Honestly, who couldn’t use a little more of feeling good about themselves?

Third, you may notice that your colleagues appreciate you more. This is where it is really rewarding. People like to be recognized and acknowledged for their work and their effort, even the little things. It makes them feel good and people tend to like and gravitate towards others who make them feel good. It’s like a magnet – treat people with gratitude and thanks and they will want to be around you more. And they will be more than happy to help you again. Spread good karma and it will boomerang back.  

A team that shows gratitude toward each other, frequently expresses thanks, and demonstrates a positive and can-do attitude is a fully realized team operating at its peak performance.

Celebrating Things – Big and Small

When was the last time you gave your work colleague a high five for a job well done or a fist bump? Yes, a fist bump. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise why high performing sports teams do a lot of physical contact, jumping on each other after they score a soccer goal, or slapping each other on the back side when they complete an excellent play. Not only does this celebrate the accomplishment but the physical contact helps establish a bond. Think about it. Who are you most close with? These people tend to be family members, significant others, and close friends. And what do these types of relationships entail? They tend to have more physical contact, such as hugging, holding hands, pats on backs, etc. High performing sports teams are usually a tight knit group. In a way, they could never achieve a winning season or a championship if they weren’t.

At work, we can encourage more celebration and expression of that celebration in physical form. A high five or a fist bump works for everyone. It doesn’t violate anyone’s personal space or propriety. It encourages good team spirit.  

I make a point to focus on opportunities to do this. Even for little small occurrences that aren’t even a celebratory thing. For example, the other day I was conducting a meeting and one of my colleagues was dialed in on the phone, while on the way into the office. At one point, I was writing notes from our group discussion on the whiteboard, and I checked in with our dialed in colleague. “Are you almost into the office yet?” Just as the words were barely out of my mouth, he walked into the door. “Yeah!” I said and gave him a high five. We all got a good laugh at the timing.

See, this fun and celebratory spirit helps build camaraderie and having a good laugh just makes it a more enjoyable meeting! So, celebrate things big and small. Give a high five or a fist bump to someone to express the joy. Words can only go so far. Physical expression of an emotion gives it more meaning and impact.

So, think of some things you can do at work to express love, kindness, and gratitude and start to do some things to spread a little love around.  Because, we could all use a little more love in our lives.