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Kim commented on Gross National Happiness

Thank you, Naman and Lauren, for your insights and questions. You have caused me to engage in further reflection.

Lauren, I will work to get a photo of the board to post.

During the second year of implementation of the GNH board, I kept a staff list in my office and noted when I wrote a GNH slip to recognize a particular staff member. I challenged myself to acknowledge every staff member at least once during the course of the school year with a genuine expression of gratitude. I can't say I was completely successful, but this goal caused me to deliberately look for contributions and kindness and to work to carve out time to interact with all staff.

I have always worked in education settings (and my husband is an educator too), so I don't know if my experience is typical of many work settings or not; however, schools are very fast-paced organizations facing multiple demands by various stakeholders. As public, taxpayer-supported institutions dealing with people's children, we are under great scrutiny and pressure. Thus, it is easy to get stressed out and to focus on completing tasks. Ironic, right, as our work is based on relationships! The focus on GNH serves as a counter-weight to the pressure and builds up relationships. The next step would be for teachers to create GNH boards in their classrooms and have students and teachers write expressions of gratitude to each other.

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Kim commented on Gross National Happiness

Hi. How interesting to learn that deBono's work is used in your workplace. I have used Six Hats as a teacher with my students when in the classroom.

We had no metric re: number of slips posted. Some months, the bulletin board was stacked with slips. Other months did not feature as many slips. Sometimes this was a function of the school calendar, e.g., December and March often had fewer as we were in session fewer days during those months due to breaks.
 
In my role then as a school leader, I modeled sharing my gratitude by ensuring that I posted at least 4 slips each month. I also put blank slips in staff mailboxes to remind staff and included an occasional reference to the GNH board in my weekly newsletter to staff. I also incorporated GNH into my everyday speech, e.g., saying to staff members, "Thank you for doing X and increasing my/the school's/our group's GNH."

The types of expression of gratitude ran the gamut. Many featured comments thanking a colleague for assistance with some task. Some comments referenced having received emotional support. Other slips focused on expressing appreciation for a special treat (e.g., a colleague bringing cookies to a meeting).

A brief section of the book, Accelerating and Extending Literacy for Diverse Students, by Michele Kane and Dorothy Sisk, features a photo of the GNH board, with an explanation of the process, and some teacher commentary. You can check it out on Amazon (pages 61 - 62).