Three Simple Things Grateful Leaders Do
Coming right off the heels of Thanksgiving and into the season of even more giving, many of us are likely thinking about thanks—or gratitude. From a leadership standpoint, gratitude can be powerful in terms of shaping your perspective and both the mindset of your organization and it’s culture. In fact, research shows that practicing gratitude leads to a number of benefits that can reinforce your own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those in your workplace. It improves physical and psychological health, it raises self-esteem, and it contributes to stronger relationships, among other things. Gratitude doesn’t have to be about massive efforts of kindness, as nice and generous as those might be. Taking small steps to demonstrate where you’re appreciative and yet giving thanks consistently over time can have a significant impact. So this holiday season, I challenge you to give yourself and others the simple gift of gratitude, creating new habits around the spirit of “thanks.”
Here are a few suggestions:
Start your day off with daily gratitudes. Whether you do this before rolling out of bed, when taking your shower, or sitting patiently in your morning commute, think about what makes you feel grateful. Start with a few gratitudes related to your personal life. Then shift your thinking to your professional life, again, naming a few things each day if you can. When you walk into work, your mindset will likely be a bit more positive, your perspective brighter. And that’s a great way to start the day.
Share your appreciation of others. Let people know they matter. This includes communicating this information to staff, vendors, partners, customers and others. But don’t feel you must recognize everyone at once…take your time and be genuine about it. Be specific if you can…it’s far more effective than a generic thank-you. Let the recipient know for what you’re grateful and why it’s important to your leadership, the company, other staff members, customers, etc. Sharing gratitude can become a solid strategy for supporting morale and growing motivation.
Give back. Your gratitude, as an expression of who you are and what you want to be as a leader, will become clear to many as you habitually model the act of giving to others. Case in point, many of MAP’s clients have “giving back” as one of their core values, proactively sponsoring community or charitable activities. As such, these leaders don’t stand behind a curtain, expecting everyone else to magically do these acts of kindness for them. They are front-and-center leaders, modeling the behaviors they wish to see from others in their organization.
Get the ball rolling! For what are you grateful about your leadership today?