THE BLOG
12/26/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How Happy Is... Thanksgiving: 5 Ways To Show Your Gratitude At Work

With Thanksgiving coming up I wanted to give you 5 very quick and easy ways that you can show your appreciation for those that you work with. I always find that if I am feeling low at all, the best way to get out of a mood is to give to someone else, which usually takes my mind off worrying about myself. The more you give to others around you and show your appreciation for them, the happier your life will be.

TIP 1: Praise People. If you are thinking something positive about someone, tell them. Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Even with very simple things like you notice someone's new hair cut, you tell a colleague that the blue shirt he's wearing really suits them or you let someone know that they had a great idea that day. It's so easy to make someone happy or cheer them up with an appreciative comment, and it takes so little effort to do so.

TIP 2: Make someone else's life easier: If you can see that a colleague is really busy at work, even if you don't know them that well, ask them if you could make them a coffee or tea. Or perhaps you can offer to pick up lunch for them or even share your own. It doesn't matter if you work for them or they work for you, by helping them out, it shows the other person that you see that they are busy and will make them feel appreciated.

TIP 3: Build people up: When you are in meetings and brainstorming ideas, build on what other's say, rather than knock down their thoughts as if they are bad ideas. Something someone says might not be a great idea, but their thought might trigger something else in you that will get you thinking in a different way and will lead you to where you want to go. In other words, five not so great ideas could lead someone to a 'Eureka' moment, which you would not have got to without the first five ideas that sucked. Remember, you are a team and people rise in groups. If you feel the need to knock others down or be the one to point out that something was your 'genius' idea, it just reveals your insecurities, rather than your cleverness. Do you need to be praised individually for everything you do?

TIP 4: Ask people about their lives. How many people do you pass every day or make contact with and yet you know nothing about them? The person you buy your coffee from, the doorman in your building, the receptionist who is temping. Show an interest in who they are and their lives beyond work. Perhaps you could ask how many kids they have, what their hobbies are or what their long-term goals are. They will appreciate being seen and heard. And while you're at it say 'thank you' and be nice to everyone. Remember; don't judge anyone by what they do for a living. You never know why people choose what they choose, or, the story behind it.

TIP 5: Give thanks every week. Instead of just waiting once a year to give thanks at Thanksgiving with you family and friends, have lunch with your colleagues once a week, perhaps on a Friday, and take it in turns to say what you are grateful for that has happened that week. You can focus solely on work or you could include some personal touches as well, so you can get to know each other better. Either way, it's good to be appreciative of what you do have and what has happened, rather than always driving forward for what you want to have happen.

By the way, this is very good ritual to do once a week with your family or the people you live with. Take one meal out of the week to go around the table before you eat to say what you are grateful for in your lives that week.

If you want to make contact with me, I would love to hear from you, so feel free to e-mail me at sophie@howhappyis.com