Gratitude as a Team SportYou know that when we are grateful, we feel better and have a better attitude and outlook. Because of that, we know that gratitude is good. But those experiences also leave us thinking about gratitude as a personal thing. While gratitude is a personal experience, we can share it with others. And when we do, amazing things can happen for groups, too. Thus, it is worth considering gratitude as a team sport.

The Personal is the Collective

Your experience tells you that when you experience gratitude, you feel better.  The research shows that as we practice gratitude our energy is higher, we are more resilient, happier, more forgiving and generous, and have lower stress and anxiety.

Look at that list.

If you had a team had higher energy, greater resilience, less stress and anxiety and was more forgiving, would you have a better team?

Would you have greater productivity, greater collaboration, higher retention, and less detrimental conflict?

Who wouldn’t want to lead or be a part of that team?

And while one individual practicing gratitude is lovely, when an entire team does it – when gratitude becomes a team sport – the benefits expand rapidly.

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Gratitude is Contagious

As team members see and share their gratitude, gratitude can spread – like wildfire.  The more people see it in each other and their surroundings, the more the feeling of gratitude grows and the benefits compound.

The contagious nature of gratitude makes it a powerful practice for a team, and can create forward momentum, esprit de corps, and the relational glue that binds teams and creates high performance.

Gratitude As a Cultural Goal

With all the talk about the importance of culture, gratitude is seldom discussed as a feature, criteria, or goal for a desirable culture.  When you consider the wide-ranging benefits for the individual and the team, it makes sense to consider gratitude in this way. Descriptions of great culture often include ideas like teamwork, collaboration, inclusion, and a positive atmosphere.  Working to tangibly build greater team gratitude will create all of those (and more) as a natural side effect.

Gratitude as a team sport?

If we think of it that way, and build our team’s gratitude skills, you will have a better team by most any measure.


Gratitude starts by seeing the world differently. And when we change that lens, it can change things for more than just ourselves. Join me for a very special session Nov. 7 as we talk about how gratitude can improve difficult situations, team relationships, and attitudes (at work). All the details can be found here.

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