You probably know that expressing gratitude to others can improve your well-being and your relationships, but did you know that it can also improve your productivity and effectiveness at work or school? Showing gratitude to others is not just about making us feel good—it affects how we work together.
A study published in the Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes journal tested the differences in team performance with a neutral condition, a gratitude condition, and a positive emotion condition. Those in the neutral condition received a prompt to spend 5 minutes writing about a typical day. Those in the gratitude condition received a prompt and spent 5 minutes thinking and writing about why they were grateful for their team members. In comparison, those in the positive emotion condition wrote for 5 minutes about things that made them happy.
The researchers found that those in the gratitude condition elaborated on their ideas more, valued different perspectives, and ultimately showed significantly more team creativity than the other groups. Priming the teams with gratitude made members more open to each other’s ideas and improved information processing.
These results show that gratitude is not only a good way to improve our mood and relationships; it can also help us improve our performance.
Gratitude Action Step
The next time you meet with a team to work on a project, take a few moments in the beginning to share a little gratitude for one another. It will get your meeting off on the right foot and improve your final product!