You might intuitively understand that gratitude is important. You might even have a formal gratitude practice. But does gratitude have a place in the workplace? It seems like it does – or should.

Below is a section from my upcoming book, This Isn’t Working! Evolving the Way We Work to Decrease Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, because it ties in so well with Adam Grant’s tweet as an example of what not to do.

A message in my inbox came from a former client who has been in her position for just a short time: “Last week my supervisor told me I was being too nice to ‘the staff.’ She also stated that she doesn’t believe in complimenting ‘the staff’ because she believes it makes them become complacent instead of trying to work harder. Finally, she told me I’m making her look like the ‘bad cop’ because I’m too nice to ‘the staff.’ I’m completely at a loss for words. I don’t think this is going to be a successful place for me long term.”

We had a call and talked through her options and whether this situation might be fixable or not. I could see some ways it might be, or she may need to look for a new job.

I believe we are at an inflection point with leadership. The old command and control style of leadership—the one that says my way or the highway—won’t work in most work environments now. We’re shifting toward a more collaborative and inclusive style in organizations that want to be employers of choice. My client could potentially model the change she wanted in the organization and see if, over time, people followed her example.

Or she could give it a few months and see if her boss blew herself out and quit or was let go. That was a strong possibility, given that several people had recently quit. In these types of situations, I ask clients if they like their job and their team, and if the toxic manager wasn’t there, would they want to stay? It’s a complex situation, and it’s helpful to pull it apart and examine all of the pieces.

Honestly, I can’t believe what I am hearing from clients at all types of organizations. I am sick to death of discussing the importance of good leadership and needing to train leaders and managers on how to lead well. It’s clear that we need to take action and do exactly that.

One of the things I loved most about my manager at Arthur Andersen was he always remembered who came to him with what idea and give them credit publicly. It was a fairly easy thing to do, but it inspired incredible loyalty.

Do you remember to thank people and give them credit? You might want to start doing that.

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash