Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thank Goodness for Gratitude

When I did the initial research to discover attitudes related to disruptive behavior in the workplace, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of turkeys.

This includes embezzlers, back-stabbers, bad-mouthers, imposters, malcontents and job-hoppers and I also talked to a few people who liked to threaten their former employers with law suits. Individuals in this rouges gallery had bad attitudes in the extreme. These same bad attitudes were generally absent in good or non-disruptive employees.

Turkey attitudes include judgmental, vindictive, entitled, disrespect for authority, undisciplined, egocentric and so forth. Again, to be a turkey, one has to hold at least one of these negative attitudes strongly. If you want to know more about these bad attitudes visit the Workplace Attitudes website at

These work-related attitudes were discovered from a series of open-ended interviews but one other underlying attitude or characteristic seemed to be present in good workers and absent in problem employees—that is, gratitude.

Gratitude explains a lot. If you decide that a pre-employment test is not for you, you may want to look for gratitude in your job candidates. If you find evidence of gratitude, I believe you may be fairly sure that this person will get along well with others.

Wikipedia provides the following definition: Gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
One of my favorite quotes is by Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
Melodie Beattie talks about gratitude as follows:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity . . . It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
If you’re looking for an employee who will get along well with other people, you can’t go wrong by asking them “What are you grateful for?”
If you want to learn more about research related to gratitude and good health, I suggest that you look at some comments made by Charles Osgood in his Osgood File (CBS Radio Network) The Osgood File (CBS Radio Network): 7/12/02The Osgood File (CBS Radio Network): 12/19/01

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