An Attitude of Gratitude
November 20, 2019
This month we get a reminder to take a break, reflect and give thanks for all the good things in our lives. Sure, Thanksgiving is usually considered a family holiday, but that doesn’t mean that expressions of gratitude aren’t appropriate for your work family. We would argue, they are vital.
Gratitude matters, in all aspects of your life. Giving thanks is about making people feel valued. And research shows that top teams and organizations are full of people who feel valued. So, by being a leader who gives thanks, you can build trust through team building and inspire better business results. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Create a culture of appreciation. Showing gratitude should be the rule, not the exception. So when you are compelled to express thanks, you shouldn’t wonder where and how to do it. There should be systems in place for you and your team to say THANK YOU in public and private ways. A few ideas include: simple Post-It notes, delivering morning coffee or tea, a hand-written note, hosting a regular appreciation lunch or happy hour, or a traveling trophy that is bestowed to MVPs at weekly meetings.
- Spread the love around. This giving of thanks should be shared with everyone in your work network. That includes customers, suppliers and partners, your mentors, and of course, yourself! With all this expression of appreciation, don’t forget to give yourself credit for a job well done.
- Virtual Thanksgiving. You all know that we are passionate about supporting virtual teams. You can definitely express heartfelt appreciation on a remote team. Send gratitude emails to each member or better yet, create a message board where you can post digital Post-It notes to express your appreciation for the little – and big – things your team does to make your day better.
- Give your time and your attention. There is no better way to show your appreciation than to make time for someone. You’re the leader and people get that you’re busy. So imagine how valued you can make someone feel by sitting down, paying attention, and listening without distraction to their feedback or insights. Leaders who give generously of their time and focused attention are rewarded with commitment, hard work and trust. A little goes a long way.
Giving thanks and showing appreciation is not hard, but it is a habit that needs to be practiced. This holiday season, capture the spirit of gratitude in your leadership behaviors. Try harder, listen better, do more. Reflect on all the ways you can give thanks with your leadership by valuing people more fully. When you value people, leadership is more joyful and more effective.