On my commute to work this morning I found myself pondering the complexities of deep frying a turkey and achieving the perfect gravy to mashed potato ratio, and it occurred to me that I was actually thankful for something before it had even happened. Then I started thinking about how most of us, myself included, tend to wait to be thankful for things until Thanksgiving Day. Weird, right? What does this idea of being thankful really even mean? Well, to me it’s remembering the things or people that make my life better.

This isn’t so different from a tool that we use in our Black Belt training called the “plus delta”. For example, after each day of training we ask our class participants to give us their thoughts about how class went that day. Everyone receives a pad of post-it notes and a marker, and we ask them to write down something they liked and something they didn’t like. After they’ve finished writing their thoughts, they walk up to the plus delta board and stick their post-its in the proper category. Then the Peak facilitator reads out all the comments and engages the class in a healthy discussion about the day.

Now to some people, this might seem a little scary. It’s not always easy or comfortable to receive negative feedback, but we see it a little differently. We know that understanding what you did wrong can be a powerful way to improve. It can become a little overwhelming when all you see are the faults and things that need improvement, which is why we also include the “plus”. The positive feedback helps us remember what we are doing well and can lead us to thinking of new ways to make those things even better. A healthy dose of productive gratitude can go a long way toward being more open to change. And being open to change can lead to innovation.

Photo by Anthony Camera with Westword.

There are a lot of things that I am thankful for going into this holiday besides turkey and gravy, so I’d like to give a shout out to my amazing team. We are currently featured in the Denver Westword publication as the cover story for this week’s issue and I highly recommend giving it a read! I am so grateful to be included in such an amazing group of people and I truly believe that the work we do is helping make the City of Denver one of the best in the country. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

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