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Working with my research team...

Gratitude is effective when reciprocated.

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In my opinion, gratitude means being thankful for what you have, as well as for other individuals who assist you. I personally express gratitude by thanking the person who has assisted me. If their assistance, at an individual level, was extremely helpful, and I typically would either send a thank you card as a token of my appreciation. A thank you card allows me to tell that person in what ways they have helped me that they themselves may have not realized. In a group setting, such as my work team, I would bring in donuts or other pastries for my coworkers.  Whenever I thank someone, or bring in sweets to work for example, I feel great. At times, I believe that actions speak louder than words, and by sending a thank you card or bringing in treats, this action shows others that I would go out of my way to ensure that they knew I truly did appreciate all that they have done for me.

During my first year of my work-study job, my team at work found all my contributions to be extremely helpful. I would go above and beyond to work with all other team members to assist them with their research tasks. As a token of appreciation, they would bring in treats for my birthday, as well as purchasing me a University of Michigan Health System jacket that the rest of the team had. It was an amazing feeling to see that all the commitment and hard work that I put into the team was acknowledged, appreciated, and reciprocated.

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Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Jason,

Great to have you in the challenge, and diving into such an important topic. Thank you for sharing your story. Reflecting on this workplace at the University of Michigan, who on your team specifically was activating these gratitude initiatives in the workplace? How did you express gratitude to your coworkers?

Also, is there any chance you could find an image to go along with your post? 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.