September 1, 2017
On Thursday 24th August, Origin Fire held their annual in-office conference. A number of our team presented on their various topics of expertise. We also had guest speaker Wendy James who presented and ran our team building exercise. The topic was ‘Gratitude and Appreciation’.
First off she gave us some definitions. Who would have known that the word ‘thanks’ which we use all the time to express appreciation shares the same root word as ‘think’. This root word is ‘thonc’. The conclusion that was drawn from this link is that when we thank someone our brain is more active and our thinking is enhanced. Being thankful and expressing it improves our ability to learn.
We learnt that showing gratitude and appreciation increases the level of positive chemicals in our brains called neurotransmitters. Some of the benefits of these chemicals are to lower our stress levels, improve our relationships, make us happier and give us a higher level of satisfaction. After a while a positive feedback loop is created which is when we start to seek out opportunities to show gratitude giving us a natural boost to our feel good chemicals.
For the workshop component of the session we were invited to write down three things we appreciated under three different categories. There were easy, intermediate and advanced levels. Easy level was – what has gone well today? Intermediate level was – to share your appreciation of someone else with them. Finally the advanced level was – looking back from a future point in time and being appreciative of something that hasn’t even happened yet. The final level is a real stretch. From research it has been shown that we can create new neural pathways with this strategy and change existing ways of thinking when we get creative about our future.
Finally we finished off the session by writing down one of our appreciations on a post-it note with a big smile on it and sticking that to our top lip. We have all learnt something and plan to make sharing our gratitude and appreciation a regular habit within our business culture.