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The evidence is overwhelming—those who have more gratitude, or an attitude of gratitude — are happier individuals.

Although you won’t hear the term ‘happy’ very frequently in one of our meetings or workshops (because the word is both subjective and fuzzy), it seemed appropriate as people of the United States are celebrating their Thanksgiving period to provide a quick reflection.

Few, if any, would argue that gratitude is not a positive attitude. Positive attitudes, or an attitude of gratitude, provide leading indication for the opportunity to galvanize consensus. Therefore, groups who have more gratitude are more likely to agree.

Mandate vs. Gratitude

Of interest are the following trend lines extracted from Google’s Ngram. As the use of the term ‘mandate’ has increased in recent decades, the use of the term ‘gratitude’ has decreased. While the relationship does not prove that people have less gratitude today than in the past, it does suggest that frequency of the term and reference to its positive meaning has been on the decline.

Attitude of Gratitude Makes for More Powerful Facilitation

Mandate vs Gratitude

Facilitation vs. Gratitude

Although use of the ‘facilitation’ in a business sense is relatively new (over the past few decades), since we started teaching facilitation there has been a steady and positive slope increase in the use of gratitude. Not coincidentally, we would argue.

Attitude of Gratitude Makes for More Powerful Facilitation

Gratitude vs Facilitation


Get your group to be more thankful for what they have, rather than dwelling on what they do not have. Use what they have (eg, skills, strengths, etc.) to focus on WHAT they could do to further extend what gives them gratitude.

You will benefit personally as well. Harvard Medical School reports that “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” (emphasis is ours)

People in the United States take so much for granted, it can make outsiders incredulous. Perhaps less than one percent of the people on this planet have some money in the bank, a few coins in their purse, a stocked refrigerator at home, the ability to read, at least one parent who remains alive, the skill to read, and the liberty to attend the place of worship at their choosing.

If you do, if your meeting participants do, then we suggest that you might begin your meeting or workshop by first stressing the gratitude to have the opportunity to make things better for your business and its stakeholders.  Most people are not so fortunate.


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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