“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
–John F. Kennedy

November is the month of giving thanks. It’s when we take time off from our work and the hustle and bustle of life to gather for good food and focus on friends, family and giving thanks. Many Thanksgiving tables across the country will ask, “So, what are YOU thankful for?” And while this is when we tend to give thanks for the things on the table, the people sitting around the table, and the other blessings in our personal lives, we don’t often think about giving thanks at work too. November is also a good time to show gratitude for the people in our work lives like mentors, co-workers, supervisors, clients and partners. I have a really long list of people who have made my professional life more fulfilling, successful, and definitely more fun. I challenge you to spend two minutes each day for the rest of the year (about 21 work days, the amount of time it takes to form a habit) and let one person in your professional life know how grateful you are for them. Here are a few ways you can show your gratitude at work.

Email it.
I know, I know. Our inboxes runneth over. But, have you ever complained about getting an email with a compliment in it?

Say it.
In a world of text and email, it can mean a lot to take the time to stop by someone’s desk or pick up the phone and say, “thank you.” You just never know what kind of impact that might have, what bad day you might be giving a boost. Maybe give a specific example of how they’ve made a difference, thank them for being an awesome co-worker/boss/client, and wish them a safe and happy holiday.

Write it.
I’m a big lover of paper. I still have sticky notes and cards from bosses and co-workers for a job well-done on a project. Some are hanging out in the bottom of my desk drawer and show themselves at the darnedest times when I need it most. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note.

Bring it.
Pay attention to your professional friends likes and dislikes. Surprising someone with their favorite hot beverage shows them not only that you are grateful for them but also that you SEE them and that you have taken note of what makes them tick.

Now, gratitude is something that you can extend throughout the year. Here are two ways to carry your new habit of showing gratitude into 2020.
Make it a habit during a big project to take the time to jot down the people that made it possible. Write down the people that helped you every day and the people that swooped in to rescue you when you needed it most. After the big project is over, consult your list and send an email of gratitude. The best part about gratitude is that I guarantee it will make you feel good too. It is remarkable how even a few words of thanks and praise will help improve your work relationships.
Finish each work day by jotting down three things that you are grateful for in a work gratitude journal. Make sure to acknowledge the lessons learned from the rough days at work too.
So why is all of this important? Why all the gratitude? Studies show that expressing gratitude increases performance and also makes for happier and healthier work relationships. It’s good for business too. Gratitude can also be contagious. Appreciating someone can set in motion a domino effect of gratitude. And couldn’t the world use a little more of that right now?
I’m grateful for readers like you. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.