It’s November, which in the United States, is closely associated with Thanksgiving—a national holiday encouraging gratitude. Although one may argue it’s devolved into a holiday of gluttony, football, and bargain hunting, its undercurrent remains: giving thanks.
The benefits of showing gratitude are well documented on both the individual and organizational levels. For example, according to the website Insider, gratitude can improve physical health by improving sleep and lowering the risk of diabetes. Plus, a Limeade Institute study revealed that employees practicing both gratitude and mindfulness strongly correlated to having higher levels of well-being, engagement, and productivity and low levels of stress at work.
Gratitude is contagious. When people show us gratitude, we are more inclined to share it with others.
Still, many organizations struggle to incorporate a sense of gratitude into their messaging strategies. Here are some suggestions to help:
RECEIVING EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE
You're Welcome is Not a Problem
Many people have trouble accepting signs of gratitude, often because they feel as if they don’t deserve it or they could have done better. Gratitude is a two-way street. Accepting it is just as important as giving it. Although our intentions are good when we answer with “Not a problem” or “It was nothing,” the end result can suggest disrespect or ambivalence. When someone tries to connect with us on sincere and authentic levels, we should acknowledge and respect that. Let the compliment set in for a moment, give it the weight it deserves, then simply say “You’re welcome,” or “It was my pleasure.”
MESSAGING ON A MISSION
Listen Up: New Episodes Available!
Our podcast, Messaging on a Mission, came back last month from its summer break. Check out these two new episodes!
We’ve got a great line-up planned for the rest of the year, but if you or your organization have a story to share about how your message impacts your work, don’t be shy! Let us know! We’re always looking for new guests.
He Is Me Institute
In this recurring feature of Focal Point, we profile people and organizations on a mission! If you have someone to suggest, let us know!
Although Black male teachers have a profound impact on student learning, only 2% of teachers identify as such. The mission of He is Me Institute is to empower Black men to obtain and retain careers in teaching so that they can change the trajectory for the next generation of Black youth.
He is Me introduces Black men to education by providing opportunities to explore teaching as a career through its one-year fellowship program. They learn about their own identities, research education equity issues, and work directly with students via mentoring. He is Me’s fellowship is a unique experience that helps young Black men realize that they can teach, want to teach, and need to teach.
Fellows mentor middle school-aged boys of color in He is Me’s school-year mentoring program and facilitate the Summer Book Club for Young Men, open to boys of color in grades 3 through 12. For more information, visit heisme.org.
Focal Pointing shares some of the books, podcasts, and emails that are helping us learn, create, and grow.
"No duty is more urgent than giving thanks."
— James Allen
Born this month in 1864, James Allen was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best-known work, As a Man Thinketh, has been mass-produced since its publication in 1903. It has been a source of inspiration to motivational and self-help authors.
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