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Bite-Size Insights: Creating a Practice of Gratitude | Adam Weber

Nov 30, 2020 | 00:00

00:00 00:00

Episode Description

On this special Bite-Size, we aren’t exactly answering a question. Rather we are thinking about what it means to practice gratitude.

Emplify’s Co-founder and Chief People Officer Adam Weber does an amazing job of practicing gratitude in his daily routine and incorporating that into team meetings and the culture at Emplify. He joins to discuss the impact gratitude has on his life and share a few tactical insights to help you add it into your routine.

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Hey, insights, listeners Nicole here. And thanks so much for joining me for this bite-size insights, empowering people leaders with best-in-class information in 10 minutes or less. All right. On this special edition of bite-size we aren't exactly going to answer a question, but rather we're thinking about what it means to practice gratitude.

So I brought in amplify as co-founder and chief people, officer Adam Webber, to help us discuss one of his favorite topics. Adam does an amazing job of practicing gratitude in both his daily routine and incorporating that back into team meetings and the overall culture at amplify. So he'll discuss the impact that practicing gratitude has had on his life and share a few tactical insights to help you add it into your,

and one of the things that I talk about often is that as a leader to lead like a human, one of the key steps in the book, Is centerdness [00:01:00] and the essence of centerdness is to help you begin the practice of self-reflection. But the output of that practice is so that you will show up in a steady and consistent way to your people.

Then how you actually create psychologically safe environments where people can thrive is by yourself, making sure that you've got practices that keep you healthy, that allow you to show up in a positive, reassuring way, and that you create that kind of bubble on your team where people feel like they can come to you where you can really hear where they are.

You can align with them. And gratitude is really an important part of that. To tie that specifically to gratitude. I think there's. All sorts of positivity, psychology research from Harvard to Berkeley, to the university of California, all of these different places that consistently say that the practice of gratitude has an impact on your brain chemistry, that it gives you more positive feelings.

It helps you handle [00:02:00] adversity better, which are all aspects of what it means to be a leader. Like you will face adversity. And so what the practice of gratitude can do is a one add consistency to how you show up. But two, when you are facing adversity or those highs and lows giving you some perspective, I always call it kind of being above the fold and just sort of having some perspective in the midst of a challenging situation, why gratitude is so effective is that it can stop the negative cycles of your mind, where you can get stuck in kind of this anxious brain cycle.

And it can, it can kind of unlock, you can get you into that more creative brain or that, that thoughtful, that thoughtful brain. One of the things from that Berkeley study that I was referencing was just the power and the ability of gratitude to unshackle yourself from toxic emotions and all of us, no matter what our personality type is, we have, especially when we're in leadership, we face [00:03:00] scenarios where we end up in negative cycles on a loop over and over.

And when we play that out in front of our teams, we can wreak havoc on our teams, but what gratitude. Over time. What it can do is it can one, it can help you kind of in that immediate situation, but also there's all sorts of research on how it also has an impact if you do it consistently and steadily over like the long, the long-term as well.

So it can both be effective like in sort of that crisis intervention phase, but also as a discipline to lead to consistency in your life as well. One of the things that I'm consistently saying is like, I'll give ideas, but you do the work of translation. You don't have to follow my exact playbook, but I would say in general, like just to share some of the things that have been effective for me or some of the things I've learned from other people and having this conversation.

So just really practically, if you're trying to take some of the first steps on putting a gratitude practice in place, some of the most effective ways I've seen are through [00:04:00] journaling, which is where you simply just write a list of things that you're grateful for through meditation. And you can find online resources that will actually like guide you.

So especially if you're brand new to it and it will kind of step-by-step guide you through the gratitude. Probably my personal favorite practices. I do. What's called gratitude walks. They're five to 10 minutes. And I, I take a very intentional time on that walk to just think through things and actually name them very specifically, and then kind of hold to those things, like the thing that I'll name and then stick with it while I'm walking.

It's good for people. If you're like me where you're just kind of like busy and doing stuff all the time, it's a really simple way to do it. Another one that has been found to be really effective, um, is not what I do, but I've heard from other people is writing letters to others. Like thank you, notes or expressions of gratitude letters.

You don't even have to send them. But just again, it's the same concept of taking the discipline time. To express gratitude for another person. There's a handful of really practical ways. I think as a team, you can do this. [00:05:00] So for example, in your weekly meeting, as a department or as a team, like when you get your team together, to make sure that that first part of the meeting and how you set the tone can really shift the feeling of the entire meeting.

And so even just doing a micro expression of gratitude, having everybody do a quick around, around the room or around the zoom on what is something this week that you're specifically grateful for. And you can pick a topic. You can make it about, you know, home, you can make it about work, whatever it may be, or some new technology, you can, you can really make it on any topic because the actual topic of the depth is not actually what makes the change.

It's just simply the expression of the gratitude. So that's one is just come up with creative ways to. Weave that into your weekly meetings, or if, you know, as all teams, we actually at our, at our company at our all team kind of, when we get together every other week, we do some version of a brief expression of gratitude as a whole company, whether that's just like a guided thought exercise or a group chat, and you can keep it really light.

[00:06:00] Like you can make the topic something lighter as you're building kind of that muscle, but just, or, or through chat, like, Hey, we're all gonna, like, what's one thing this week. And if you pick. So, let me just give you a really light example. It'd be like a technology or something in your home that you're grateful for.

Like your air conditioning, you know, like you can really start in a way that's not super vulnerable that I think we'll gain, gain pretty easy buy in. And then also if you keep a positive tone, when you do it too, I think people will be willing to participate.

Thank you again for joining us for this special edition of bite-size insights. One thing that I know, I can say I'm truly grateful for is being able to share week after week insights with all of you, hope that you guys have a great Thanksgiving.