Is gratitude in short supply?
No doubt. OK, you're paying $4 a gallon for gas, and I'm as upset as anybody. But you can say: 'We're not paying $8 a gallon. And we live in a free country. We live with so many amenities. We live with so many free things that we can enjoy.'... Instead of focusing on that complaint, you can now be grateful for what you have. And which emotion's going to uplift you? Gratitude. Which one's going to enhance your longevity? Gratitude. Which one will strengthen your immune system? Gratitude.
It seems an unusual topic for the workplace.
It's harder in the workplace, and it's not as natural. A great example is Doug Conant, the CEO of Campbell Soup. He's written 16,000 thank-you notes to his employees over the last seven years. The No. 1 reason that people leave their jobs is because they don't feel appreciated. It's not only being thankful for your job, but being thankful for the others that you work with.
How successful are some corporate programs aimed at increasing positivity?
It has to permeate the organization. It has to be part of your DNA, of who you are. It works if it's sincere. It works if it's real, and if people know you really care about them. I can walk into a restaurant and tell if it's a fake smile or it's real. You can walk into a company and tell whether it's real or not.
You say that negativity fills voids. What voids should companies look out for?
If employees don't feel seen or heard, or they don't hear and see, they don't know what's going on and they don't feel communicated with, we will assume the worst. And the great example of that is cancer. Cancer sits alone in the body. It starts acting alone. It's the same way with a company. If you think you are alone, you'll act alone. But if you feel like you're part of the body, part of the whole, then you'll support the whole.