Small Bites: A Strong Foundation is Built on Gratitude and Appreciation

Authored by Coach Polly Shyka

Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and farm and family well-being. They are written by coaches from UMaine Extension’s Farm Coaching team. Farm Coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm teams.

A Strong Foundation is Built on Gratitude and Appreciation

farmer scratching goat's earsWant to up your game as a manager, boss, or mentor to your farm crew? One place to start is by paying closer attention to the people around you. This sounds easy but actually requires a good deal of focus, intention, and patience. Attention is a form of appreciation, so really focusing on a co-worker’s question or story, asking follow-up questions, and using body language to show you are listening all carry the message of appreciation to others. Appreciation is good for everyone and good for our brains! This article discusses the benefits of appreciation and gratitude in the workplace.

Gratitude has many forms. Sometimes it is the tried and true “Thank you so much” that does the trick. Sometimes we show appreciation by offering to do a task for someone who normally does that task. Think dinner, dishes, animal chores, morning coffee. Gifts are a recognized language of appreciation, so chocolate bars, pizza, or homemade cookies can carry a clear message of appreciation. So can a raise, of course.

How can you bring more of your gratitude and acknowledgment to those around you? Starting small and repeating often is what helps a new habit stick. Small gestures of kindness, attention, and gratitude will feel good to you and your team and bring everyone closer together.

Farm coaching is a place to practice appreciation and gratitude. Every time we meet, that’s part of the conversation.