3 QUICK JOLTS OF LEADERSHIP INSIGHT
Expressing gratitude is the art of noticing. Be it your employees, your clients, or the people in your personal life - when you take the time to say, I see you, you matter - you are encouraging people to be more confident, improving productivity, fostering innovation and developing positive relationships.
If you want to incorporate more gratitude into your leadership,
- Be specific. There's nothing more counterproductive than a vague "great job." Instead, take the time to notice specific contributions. "Thank you for getting our shared drive organized. It really has helped the entire team."
- Make gratitude a habit. Make it a regular practice to seek out the qualities and achievements of your team members; keep a list if you have to. You'll be surprised how easily you can find things to be grateful for when it becomes part of your mindset.
- Make gratitude either private or public, but not casual. A passing "thank you" does not have the impact that you're looking for if you want the person on the receiving end to fully understand that you are grateful for them. Depending on the situation, either sit down and express your gratitude during a calm, private moment or make your “thank you” a moment of public acknowledge in front of your team.
And bonus points! Experiencing a sense of gratitude makes us feel good and worry less. It improves our health, and gives us more energy. Multiple studies have shown that actively cultivating practices that lead to feelings of gratitude “strengthens our brain’s happiness circuitry” by increasing levels of dopamine and engaging our brain in a virtuous cycle that reshapes neural pathways.