After a long year hunkered down, managing the stress of a global pandemic, new family dynamics, economic uncertainty, and an unending news cycle, we may have found ourselves, well…a little tired. A little worn out. A little too focused on the darkness that defined 2020 for many people.
But just like after every night, a new day eventually dawns. Spring has sprung. Everywhere you look there is new growth, from the actual sprouts emerging from the earth to the exciting (downright glorious) news that vaccines have been rapidly created, tested and are widely being deployed.
We see something truly foundational emerging as a result of the “long, dark year.” It’s gratitude. The simple act of feeling thankful for the goodness around us. And while this might feel like it’s spilling over into a personal mindfulness practice – something “woo-woo” that people do inwardly in their away-from-work lives, it’s emerging as a much bigger practice. CEOs are realizing the benefits of gratitude in the workplace to help lower stress, reduce health complaints (and medical costs), increase positive feelings, improve work relationships, and boost employee engagement. It’s one of those rare win-win-win-win things. And others are recognizing it too. We recently hosted a webinar (the first in a series) with Adam Sacks of Oxford Economics who believes the same – that the enduring result of the pandemic will be gratitude.
At no other time in recent history has the entire world been so widely affected by the same experience. So, as they say, let’s not squander a good crisis. This setback gives us a common foundation from which to build a sense of gratitude-thinking that actually improves lives. When people are free to gather again in person in larger numbers, there will be enormous gratitude for in-person connections, shared experiences and relationship building. Let’s build upon that. Whether you are bringing people together for a national sales meeting, a customer appreciation event or an incentive travel experience, people will be appreciative of just being in the same location with others, seeing colleague’s faces and feeling the collective energy of the room. We can extend those positive feelings with gratitude practices in some easy, simple ways. Create a gratitude wall at your event and encourage people to jot down a daily note of appreciation for something, be it business or personal. You might invite a speaker to expand on the benefits of gratitude in the workplace. Offering a morning quiet time/mindfulness pause is also a wonderful way to set a positive tone for the day. As long as these practices come from a place of authenticity, they have remarkable power to spark inspiration, create joy and invigorate your audience.
Weaving gratitude practices into your next live (or virtual / hybrid) event will go a long way toward helping people heal, reframing the lenses through which we see the world and shining a laser focus on all that is good around us.