(615) 656-0465 mark@markskenny.com

Note: this is a series of weekly tips to build a functional, collaborative, aligned team.

Leading teams can be lonely, frustrating, and exhausting, zapping our joy.

In addition to working with business and public sector leaders to build functional, collaborative, aligned teams, I coach high school basketball on the side. One thing I have learned, and put into practice this past season, is that creating a culture of gratitude increases my joy of coaching the team. It is more fun to coach a team that is grateful.

Which brings me to this week’s tip: build a culture of gratitude on your team.

Here are some ways to begin building a culture of gratitude:

  1. Start a meeting by asking people to write down “someone who…” invested in you or made a difference in your life. Then provide a minute for your team to reflect, with gratitude, those people in our lives.
  2. Start a meeting by asking people to write down and then share what they are grateful for today.
  3. Create a challenge to do something helpful or kind for one teammate each day for the next 10 days. (naturally, make sure everyone is included)
  4. Model gratitude yourself. Connect with one team member every day and tell them “I am grateful for you being on the team.”
  5. Ask your team to write down one thing for which they are grateful about each of their teammates. This takes time, so is best for a team offsite, retreat, or similar get together. If you are physically in the same room, bring a thank you note for each person, pass each note around, and have everyone add a note of gratitude to each person’s card. Be sure to include a card for you, as the leader. Everyone will leave re-energized. If you are not physically in the same room, create an online document for each person and ask everyone to add their note to each document. (of course, you could also have everyone verbalize their gratitude)

When you build a culture of gratitude and decide to lead from a place of gratitude, you will enjoy leading more and you are building a more functional, collaborative, aligned team.