How to use gratitude to connect generations?

In this blog you will find some practical exercises you can do with your team to learn to better understand, appreciate and thank each other. Gratitude bridges differences between generations. It will make your team closer and more powerful.

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Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar® for Best Actor for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club" at the 86th Oscars® in 2014. 

In his acceptance speech, he stated that it is a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates, which means that when you create a consistent practice of being grateful, opportunities come in abundance regularly and effortlessly. During his acceptance speech, he also explained how he does this himself. 

While Matthew McConaughey explains what he needs each day as an individual and how he shapes it, you can also shape it with your team (family, sports team, business team). Here are a few exercises. 

Exercise 1: the monthly gratitude start (1 hour)
Once a month, start the day with a collaborative gratitude session. Turn off phones, make sure you can't be disturbed (both in live meetings and online calls) and start with 5 minutes of silence. So that everyone can land for a moment and reflect on the previous month. Then everyone shares what he or she is grateful for. There is no room for discussion or feedback. At most, up to two people may ask questions for clarification when they do not understand what the other is referring to. Divide the time so that 2 minutes remain at the end of the session for another collective silence. 

Exercise 2: silent gratitude feedback with post-it notes (1 hour)
Again, create a situation of calmness: phones off and a space where you cannot be disturbed. Ask participants to stay in their seats of on their floor mat/pillow. Have a block of post-it notes and a pen ready for each team member. Then ask each team member to silently write down personal gratitude feedback for each other team member: something they have done that made you feel grateful. Preferably 2 points per person. Allow 15 minutes for this. After these 15 minutes, everyone walks around clockwise and places the post-it notes with the corresponding person. Then everyone gets the time to read the feedback, again in silence, during another 5 minutes of silence. At the end everyone may indicate what the feedback has done with him/her. Or may choose to enjoy in silence. As leader of the group you thank your team members for their valuable contributions before closing the session. 

Good luck with the exercises! I'd love for you to let me know how you and your team experienced them 

Dirk Van Uffelen

Guest Editor, Generation Magnets

Studied Organisational Psychology & Sports Psychology and focused the last 20+ years on development and guidance of Cororate Management Traineeships and Young Professional Programs. Currently writing 'The Quantum Millennial Guide, the Bionic Way from Agile to Antifragile'. Passionate about traveling, learning languages, martial arts, CrossFit and spending time with his family.

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Go to the profile of RenateKruijtzer-Keser
5 months ago

Thank you for these exercises Dirk.

Go to the profile of Dirk Van Uffelen
5 months ago

You’re welcome!