Let’s Also Foster Gratitude and Compassion

John’s Perspective

We talk a lot about creating productivity on our teams. But let’s not forget about important qualities such as compassion and gratitude.

While successful teams need to willingly overcome challenges and commit to lateral service and hard work, we should also spend time focusing on emotional qualities. These qualities, including demonstrating genuine gratitude and compassion, are ones that will make others want to work with us and which will drive team loyalty.

In the long run, character qualities will beat technical expertise.

In the results of Google’s Project Oxygen, research designed to pinpoint the manager qualities that contributed to team success, character qualities outranked technical expertise and horsepower. These included qualities such as taking an interest in their direct reports’ social lives and prioritizing time for one-on-one meetings. Showing your teammates and direct reports that they matter to you as people, and not just assets, goes a long way in helping a team bond, creating a culture of lateral service, and helping your team tackle challenges with gusto.

Cultivating these emotional qualities can combat workplace loneliness.

A somber reality is that feeling lonely is a growing epidemic in America. This problem, which affects reportedly over half of the U.S. workforce, is damaging for emotional, physical, and mental health. As a leader, practicing gratitude and compassion (and instilling these practices in your team) will help you and your Ladies & Gentlemen feel more socially-connected and supported. This will increase the overall wellbeing, engagement, and productivity of your team.

You can make a difference on your team.

Having leaders express gratitude towards their team is vital. But even if you are not in a leadership position, you’re still able to set the tone on your team by actively and openly showing gratitude and compassion towards others. Make the choice to show and tell someone how much you appreciate their lateral service and their contributions to the team. And if someone on your team is struggling, for personal or professional reasons (or both), ask them how you can help and listen empathetically, if they want to share about their challenges. It sounds like something my wife would say to my kids, but “put yourself in their shoes.” How would you want to be treated if you were facing challenges? How would you like to have gratitude shown for your work? The investment will be worth it, I promise.