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Years ago I discovered that even in the darkest of times, I could be grateful for the good going on in my practice and for the good in my life. Gratitude is a powerful habit.
By practicing gratitude daily, we can express more calm and kindness to others. With gratitude in our lives, we can live more healthfully each day. Without gratitude, we can find ourselves in a more and more negative space; what I refer to as the negativity zone. While in the negativity zone, nothing seems to go right, people around us seem ungrateful, and we end up feeling crabby and unwell.
You might find yourself in the negativity zone when you compare what others have to what you have or are experiencing. Questioning whether you can do something or accomplish one of your goals is also a negativity zone behavior. Believing that you weren’t meant to have a great life or are unable to learn something new keeps you in a negativity zone.
You must consciously choose to leave the negativity zone behind.
Instead, turn that frown upside down as the saying goes! Reframe your negative thoughts into positives. With smiles on our faces and gratitude in our thoughts, we can find at least one good thing happening every day. Whether it is a double rainbow after delivering a child who was running late to school, or a heron flying over the neighborhood pond, or both, there are pleasant surprises around many corners. So stop. Take in the good. Smile over the pleasant surprises. Share your experience and spread gratitude for the things most people drive by, walk past, or too often fail to see.
I’ve also found that expressing gratitude can take the form of “sharing wins” during the workday. In other words, if people feel like “being grateful” sounds too corny for the work environment, reframe the gratitude habit into a sharing of what went well or “sharing wins.”
Carving out time during the workday, or during each work week, to share wins can amplify your sense of gratitude which in turn helps others feel gratitude, which helps your practice stand out as a healthy place to do business. What I mean by “sharing wins” is this. Each time you see something positive happen in your clinic, stop and recognize it by saying thank you or by recognizing the specific action that was done well. Sharing a win can also happen when others let you or the team know what went well on any given day. Staff meetings are a great time to share wins. Ask your team “What went well this week?”
You can also get the team focused on positives by asking “What do we want to go well this week?” This forecasting of “wins” or positive experiences can help set the tone for a productive and positive week for which we can be grateful at the end of the week.
If I were to ask you and your team “what went well this week” – what would you say? Think about each day. What worked well? Which team member rose to a challenging situation and handled it well? Which clients said “Thank you” to the team? And to which clients did you express your gratitude? All of your answers are a sharing of wins, a sharing of things that have gone well. Keep the sharing going!
More Gratitude Habits
Gratitude is a feeling and a thought process. Gratitude can become a daily habit and can be expressed in a variety of ways. The more ways in which you express gratitude, the greater your “gratitude habit” grows. Here are some ways you can put a gratitude habit into place in your daily behavior and in your practice.
- Thank You. Saying thank you to clients in words, notes, emails, texts or even social media comments can bring a smile to their faces and bring their return business.
- Thank You for the Referral. Taking time to thank the person, doctor, or entity that sent a referral your way is likely to keep the referrals coming to you and your practice.
- Thank you for a job well done. Recognizing an employee for a job well done helps ensure that good work and effective processes continue.
- Thank you for supporting us. Recognizing vendors helps your practice grow. It takes a team of people to make a practice operate on a daily basis, so make your vendors a valued part of your team.
- I appreciate you. Expressing appreciation for a talent, a way of thinking (positively, with a problem solving mindset), or a way of being (happy, cheerful, uplifting) is another way to express gratitude. Taking time to put this appreciation into writing often means a great deal to the person you are recognizing.
- We appreciate your business. Everyone wants to know their business is appreciated. What creative ways are you using in your practice to express your gratitude and appreciation with your clients?
- Gratitude Journal. As an individual, you might find jotting down things you are personally grateful for on a daily basis is a great tool for reminding yourself that at least one good thing has happened each day. A friend of mine keeps a gratitude calendar hanging in her kitchen. At the end of each day, she and her family write down the things that made them laugh that day, the things they enjoyed, and the things they were grateful for. They are in their second year of doing this. She shared recently that looking back over an entire year helped the family recognize just how much they had to be grateful for. A great journal that I love is The Five Minute Journal.
- Great People. Surrounding ourselves with great people with great skills, knowledge, and attitudes is helpful to our gratitude habit. The people we spend time with rub off on us – whether they are positive or negative. Look for great people who are energizing, uplifting, supportive, and actively expressing gratitude in their lives. Your practice, your team, and your life will benefit from great people.
Go Big on Gratitude
Start off each day with an expression of gratitude. What do you feel grateful for? What or whom do you appreciate? Expressing gratitude causes more good to come your way.
As I began my gratitude journey, each morning I would make a statement about what I was grateful for. Then, I began writing it down. Now, every day before I go to bed, I write down one thing (at least) that I appreciate from the day or that I am grateful for from that day. It doesn’t cost anything to express gratitude. It hardly takes any time to express gratitude. Yet, expressing gratitude keeps you focused, helps you stay energized, creates attractiveness, and is contagious.
Choose gratitude daily!
Incorporate gratitude into your daily activities, into your practice, and into your team’s daily experiences. Spend time with your team recognizing wins and expressing gratitude for all that is going well in the practice. Each team member can build their daily personal gratitude habits and they learn best by example so be the example. Everyone will feel better, work better and be better.
Thanks for reading this post all the way to the end! Together, we continue learning, adapting, and growing our practices. Are you ready to participate in the TAPP program? Let’s get into a discussion. I’d like to hear what you have to say. If you’d like to have a conversation, please fill out the Owner’s Profile.