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"Reflection Day"

I aim to solve the challenge of not knowing how to express gratitude, and also not feeling the gratitude present.

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As it is true that some individuals may not realize the importance of expressing gratitude, and consequently, some others may feel as though they are unappreciated, taking a step back to view things from the perspective of others can help see potential challenges. These challenges may underlie the issues that may seem more evident, and therefore people may have a hard time uncovering them unless taking the time to do so. Although I believe that many people notice the hard work of others and on the other hand, many can tell when individuals from their workplace appreciate their contributions to the team, I feel that this is a matter that can be developed even further. That way, we can ensure that gratitude is explicitly being expressed rather than risking it going unnoticed. Using the positive influence of the experiences I've had in my own workplace, I've come up with a proposal that I believe can help individuals both express their appreciation and also, sense the appreciation in the environment. 

Personally, I have more often than not felt the gratitude that is shown toward me, while feeling the gratitude others express to each other as well. Additionally, I try to show my appreciation for the efforts I see around me in a way that I feel is best possible. While I may realize the gratitude present in my own workplace and believe that most of the others I work with do too, there may be people who either don't feel the appreciation toward them, or overlook it not only in my workplace, but the workplace of other individuals as well. Gratitude is a concept crucial to the mood, well-being, happiness, and progress of many in a variety of areas, including the workplace, which is why I feel it is absolutely necessary to continue to evaluate and improve its influence.  

Aside from the weekly meetings that some may have to access the progress being made, I feel that having such a day that we can call "Reflection Day" would help individuals directly express their appreciation toward each one of the people in at least their immediate workplace. More importantly, this can help make sure that individuals realize that others around them are grateful for the hard work they do to contribute to the team goals. I envision "Reflection Day" as a set day, every other week, put aside for a sole purpose. That is, to allow the people in the workplace to sit side by side and briefly, in the presence of all, tell each individual in their team the efforts that they've noticed from them and how that may have served as encouragement. Although criticism is necessary at times, I feel that "Reflection Day" would be most effective in terms of the goal that I am intending to accomplish if only positive comments were made. Therefore, criticism is not part of my proposal. 

I believe that having such a day can help inspire others to efficiently express the gratitude they'd like to express, because part of the problem may be that people have a hard time knowing how to show their gratitude. Such a day may provide a comfortable space for those who have faced the challenge of expressing gratitude as they wish, as the practice of gratitude is being brought up front. Also, I think that by explicitly showing appreciation toward one another in front of everyone, the individuals on the receiving end will feel even more appreciated than they would have if it had only been in a one on one manner, or even simply appreciated if they hadn't felt so initially. This can impact people on both the giving and receiving end in ways that they may not have expected before. Furthermore, such explicit appreciation can assist those around in realizing the efforts of others if they already had not, or enhance those realizations, by promoting the importance of gratitude. "Reflection Day" can possibly bring together the work team in a different way and therefore possibly enhance the unity.  

Idea Title

Reflection Day, a day to step back and impact both yourself and others unexpectedly.

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

I feel that my proposed idea is a direct and clear way to express gratitude and therefore can be understood and applied amongst all cultures. Furthermore, I feel that my proposal can offer individuals something to look forward to in the midst of all the stress they may have and promote the importance of gratitude in a possibly alternative sense that both the giving and receiving end may not have realize.

Who are you innovating for?

I believe that the leaders of the team, along with each and every member of the team will benefit from the proposed idea. The leaders will benefit as they may feel that they can be on a more personal level with those they are leading. The members, along with the leader(s) will have a possibly more comfortable space to express gratitude, receive gratitude, and demonstrate/promote examples of gratitude to the others around them.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

Although I would want to innovate for any workplace, I believe that the workplaces I can realistically test my proposal are research labs and student run organizations at a university. In that sense, the younger population may possibly enhance their understanding of gratitude at a younger age and apply the lessons they've learned when moving on to work in larger corporations, organizations, etc.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

I envision the idea being introduced by conducting a presentation in front of a set of research lab and student run organization leader(s) explaining my intentions and the goals I hope to accomplish. If the leader(s) are in support of trying the idea, I will also present the same presentation in front of members of their team after they have briefly told them about it so that everyone is on the same page. The leader(s) of the organization will be responsible for implementing this idea with my help.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

As with any new idea, I have a sense of some obstacles that we may need to overcome. Those being, the motivation of all the members of the workplace team to fully contribute and also, finding a set day and time of the week that everyone is able to commit to.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

The best way to access the impact of my proposal is through surveys I will design to evaluate the initial gratitude in the workplace, and also mood tests. Each member of the team (and leaders) will complete a survey asking about their own expression & receiving of gratitude and also a mood test before starting reflection days. After 1 month of reflection days (one every other week), they will take these two tests again, then again after 2. I will follow-up with the leader after each meeting.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

I would look into the different research labs and student run organizations that I feel would be best/easiest to work with, and then present my proposal to them. The opportunity to work with mentoring organizations would help me shape my proposal even more with the assistance of professionals who are highly experienced and willing to further develop my proposal.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

My ideas emerged using my own experiences in the workplace, as mentioned earlier, and also discussing potential problems in the workplace with classmates in my Creativity course. Furthermore, my idea was enhanced and more developed by reading the research findings written at the top of this page, and also looking into the websites posted.

Tell us about yourself

I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience while aspiring to become a physician in the future.

Where are you / your team located?

Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tell us about your experience

I have not professionally worked in the gratitude field, but through my Creativity course and participating in the OpenIdeo Challenge, I am researching, exploring, and contributing to the field associated with gratitude.

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Hi Angela,

Excited to see you sharing your idea. Is there any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.