By Nataly Kogan

A simple technique to make work meetings more awesome

Do you love meetings at work?

I don’t know anyone who gets excited about going to a meeting. Most meetings are boring, some are stressful, and many are just plain unnecessary. To make matter worse, they generally run way too long which makes them counterproductive.

Here’s a ridiculously simple technique that will shift the quality of any meeting and help everyone in the room feel happier, more helpful, and more productive. If this sounds like some kind of a meeting magic pill, it is exactly that.

I call it Gratitude Meeting Bookends.

Here’s how it works:

After everyone has gathered for the meeting, and before you dive into the meeting agenda, pick a colleague in the room and tell them something you appreciate about them.

Maybe they helped you with a project. Maybe they went out of their way and took care of something that wasn’t part of their job but was really helpful. Perhaps they cheered you up on a rough day.

Whatever it is, when you express your appreciation, be genuine and specific.

At the end of the meeting, ask if anyone in the room would like to share gratitude for someone else. In my experience, there will be many volunteers.

That’s it. That’s Gratitude Meeting Bookends. It takes just a few moments and here are just some of the benefits you and other meeting participants will gain from giving it a try:

  • You will feel awesome. Gratitude releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates your brain’s pleasure centers. It makes you feel good and it encourages you to repeat the activity that made you feel good (making it easier to develop a gratitude habit.)
  • You will help your colleagues feel more motivated. Studies show that one of the key factors that improves motivation at work is having a direct connection to those who benefit from our work. In one study, researchers found that when colleagues expressed gratitude to each other and shared how another person’ work helped them, their engagement with their jobs increased significantly.
I can keep going because the mountain of research on the benefits of small acts of gratitude and kindness in the workplace - and everywhere else in your life - is taller than Mt Everest. And it’s growing every day.

One meeting, two gratitude bookends, and the start of a simple tradition that has the power to transform the culture within your team. Be the gratitude hero and start it.

Next up: This is the absolute best way to deal with stress. Seriously.

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