“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
I don’t know about you, but November is one of my favorite months of the year. Its sweater weather, the leaves are turning, football is in full swing and the holidays are upon us. And of course, Thanksgiving – a fantastic holiday in its simplicity and meaning. Centered on gratitude, at Thanksgiving there are no gifts expected and no expensive decorations required – just time with family & friends, delicious food (a special thank you to whomever invented stuffing) and perhaps a little nap and football…all to celebrate and be thankful for the blessing we have.
Gratitude has a transcendent ability to increase happiness, build intrapersonal bonds and motivate others. And we have the opportunity to share gratitude with our teams and co-workers, building a more meaningful environment and higher-performing team, in which we can be our best and bring out the best in others.
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”
– Charles Schwab
There is a simple way of practicing gratitude in our everyday business, in a way that is both a genuine expression from the giver and very meaningful to the receiver. It’s the simplest and most impactful method I have learned, and you may have too: the “SBI Feedback” approach.
SBI stands for: Situation (time & place), Behavior (what was observed), Impact (result of their actions)
Which of the following seems more meaningful to the receiver?
- “Dean, you did a great job earlier!”
- “Dean, thank you for a great job kicking off the planning session this morning. I noticed from your detailed agenda and positive tone that you were both prepared and engaged. It helped me understand our objective and my role, and I felt inspired to participate.”
In the first example, Dean will appreciate that someone recognized him for a job well done. In the second example, the context, specificity and impact of his actions help Dean learn and gain confidence in how to bring value to the team. The positive feeling and motivation experienced by Dean will absolutely be longer lasting and contribute to both quality work and a positive attitude, which in turn helps create a more positive team environment. Imagine if each team member were to provide this kind of gratitude & feedback to all other team members on a regular basis…what would that do for your team?
2 brief SBI videos further explain this concept, which is also very helpful with developmental feedback:
“Make it a habit to … express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you.” – Ralph Marston
Sharing feedback, particularly in the workplace, is a win-win-win. Feedback rooted in gratitude creates a positive environment for the giver, receiver and whole team. The SBI model is just one suggestion on how to help us and our teams do this sincerely and effectively.
So as we enter the holiday season, I’d encourage each of us to share feedback and be grateful for each other. I wish you, your co-workers, family and friends, a fantastic Thanksgiving!
*Managing Director of Sales, Walmart & Sam’s Club – Mars Petcare
*Title and company of the author reflect their position at the time article was written.
The opinions expressed here by guest bloggers are their own, not necessarily those of Stout Executive Search.