Stop and Say Thanks

IMG_1687Thanksgiving is almost upon us — family, traditions, football rivalries, and often a short (and needed!) break from work.


As we approach a new year, it can be tempting to focus exclusively on what needs to be changed or improved for the future – in short, what went wrong that needs to be fixed.


Maybe Thanksgiving is the time to be grateful for how far we’ve come this year and for what went right in our work and lives.


Be Thankful


There’s an organizational development technique called Appreciative Inquiry that operates on the following assumptions: First, in every organization, something works. Second, what we focus on becomes our reality.


In that spirit, ask yourself these questions:

  • What went well this year?
  • What was my greatest success or achievement?
  • What were the results/impacts of these achievements?


Show Thankfulness


It is important to thank the people who have made our endeavors and success possible. Make a list of people who helped you accomplish your goals this year. Show these people how much you appreciate their contributions, ideas, and support.


Some ideas are:

  • A holiday card with a personalized note — that special touch goes a long way.  I like Send Out Cards.
  • Food.  Always a winner.  Give pralines and you’ll be memorable.
  • A donation to a charity.  I like the Heifer Project.  My daughter once asked for a llama for Christmas.  She thought it would live in our back yard.  Cue evil laugh…


Accept Thanks


Others may be thankful because you went the extra mile…when you mentored, tutored, worked pro-bono, helped someone get a job, connected two people and served as a reference or resource. When someone tells you thanks, take a moment and absorb the positive energy. Be a gracious recipient of others’ appreciation.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


  1. Julie Bestry

    I’m thankful for you, Melissa, my dear friend and colleague. Your sense of calm and balance, your wisdom and your kindness — these are just a few of the reasons I esteem you.

    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      Oh Julie! Ten years ago, I came to you for support and advice for my new business, and you’ve generously given it to me ever since. Thank YOU.


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