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The Art of the Science Behind qChange Series: Gratitude P1

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

The Art of the Science Behind qChange series highlights the Science behind qChange, while also describing the Art of applying that Science. In previous weeks we focused on utilizing Nudge Theory to prompt positive behavior from leaders right before critical meetings. Then we walked through how we use Neuro-Linguistic Programming to talk to leaders in a style that resonates with them. In the last two weeks we spent time on Self Determination Theory (SDT) and our core needs that move us towards growth, and finally the critical need for leaders to be more Self Aware.

Because there’s so much great science around the importance of gratitude, and because it is such an important part of our qChange solution, and to us as an organization, our next few weekly posts in this Art/Science Series will focus on gratitude.

An important distinction is appreciation vs gratitude. Greater Good Magazine, in this article defines appreciation as the act of acknowledging the goodness in life—in other words, seeing the positives in events, experiences, or other people (like our colleagues). They say gratitude is going a step further and it recognizes how the positive things in our lives—like a success at work—are often due to forces outside of ourselves, particularly the efforts of other people.

An important model of gratitude in the workplace was presented by researchers in an Academy of Management Review article. In it they described the three levels of gratitude.

These levels build on each other. First, there’s Episodic Gratitude. As the name suggests, this type of gratitude stems from experiencing specific positive events. While important, it is often more short-term in nature. However, enough sincere episodic gratitude moments can lead to a level that’s called Persistent Gratitude. With persistent gratitude, individuals start to feel positive more consistently, more continually, and feel what’s termed an attitude of gratitude at work. That’s a great term, isn’t it? Finally, level three is called Collective Gratitude. This is when there’s enough gratitude in the workplace that it moves to a shared organizational-level phenomenon.

Creating enough sincere Episodic Gratitude moments leads to that Persistent Gratitude (the attitude of gratitude) level within a team. Enough Persistent Gratitude and the organization leaps to the Collective Gratitude level and all kinds of goodness happens at the individual, team, and organizational levels. In the coming weeks we’ll explore these good things that can happen through gratitude.

So how does this relate to qChange?

At qChange we want to bring more humanity to the workplace. Our digital meeting coach solution, called Leader Experience (LX) helps leaders grow in context, in real-time, through nudges, ratings, feedback, and development. Gratitude is a major focus area for us in our LX solution. We provide leaders the opportunity to build this culture of gratitude and feedback (more on the importance of feedback in coming weeks) by recognizing and thanking Influencers in the LX process. Enough of these episodic gratitude moments can lead to persistent and collective (culture level) gratitude in others.

To learn more, please see:

John Howes, Ph.D.

Chief Experience Management Officer

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