November 26, 2015 Leave a comment
The evidence is overwhelming—those who have more gratitude are happier individuals. Although you won’t hear the term ‘happy’ very frequently in one of our meetings or workshops (because the word is both subjective and fuzzy), it seemed appropriate as people of the United States are celebrating their Thanksgiving period to provide a quick reflection.
Few, if any, would argue that gratitude is not a positive attitude. Positive attitudes provide leading indication for the opportunity to galvanize consensus. Therefore, groups who have more gratitude are more likely to agree.
Of interest are the following trend lines extracted from Google’s Ngram. As the use of the term ‘mandate’ has increased in recent decades, the use of the term ‘gratitude’ has decreased. While the relationship does not prove that people have less gratitude today than in the past, it does suggest that frequency of the term and reference to its positive meaning has been on the decline.Although use of the ‘facilitation’ in a business sense is relatively new (over the past few decades), since we started teaching facilitation (1985), there has been a steady and positive slope increase in the use of gratitude. Not coincidentally, we would argue. Implications? Get your group to be more thankful for what they have, rather than dwelling on what they do not have. Use what they have (eg, skills, strengths, etc.) to focus on WHAT they could do to further extend what gives them gratitude.
You will benefit personally as well. Harvard Medical School reports that “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” (emphasis is ours)
People in the United States take so much for granted, it can make outsiders incredulous. Perhaps less than one percent of the people on this planet have some money in the bank, a few coins in their purse, a stocked refrigerator at home, the ability to read, at least one parent who remains alive, the skill to read, and the liberty to attend the place of worship at their choosing.
If you do, if your meeting participants do, then we suggest that you might begin your meeting or workshop by first stressing the gratitude to have the opportunity to make things better for your business and its stakeholders. Most people are not so fortunate.
Let us know what you think by commenting below. For additional methodology and team-based meeting support for your change initiatives, refer to “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need to lead more effective groups, teams, and meetings.
Become Part of the Solution—Improve Your Facilitation and Methodology Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership-training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you’re working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and numerous tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.