Connect with us

Life

9 Ways for Leaders to Amplify Their Gratitude

Published

on

gratitude

When it comes to creating success, many fall into the trap of not seeing people. Qualities such as kindness, humor or physical appearance are often the first to be identified, yet the most magnetic trait is gratitude.

In business, we are drawn to people who acknowledge our contributions. When leaders value gratitude, employees show their appreciation more readily. People who hold leadership positions lead from gratitude resulting in a trickle down effect within the company.

Gratitude builds relationships. Employee recognition and appreciation creates a company culture that strengthens relationships. On the other hand, we know the opposite to be true when leaders don’t recognize their staff going above and beyond their responsibilities, engagement plummets.

Gratitude is a selfless act. Action taken unconditionally shows people they are appreciated, and it becomes infectious. It’s a sign of wisdom and maturity and an ingrained hallmark of humility.

Neuroscience highlights that parts of the brain are affected by appreciation and gratefulness. The hypothalamus which controls basic bodily functions such as eating, sleeping and dopamine are significantly affected from feelings of gratitude.

Gratitude stems from acknowledging that where we have arrived didn’t happen solely on our own. Gratitude celebrates the good in the world and finds meaning in experiences. When leaders see their teams through the lens of gratitude, they will always see the untapped potential and inspire people to achieve the impossible.

Let’s explore 9 practices that leaders can implement to amplify their gratefulness:

1. Cultivate a habit of gratitude

Becoming more grateful requires a shift in perspective. Capture a daily list of five things you are grateful for in a journal. A daily reminder sets our day with a happiness boost as you connect with a grateful heart. Developing this daily discipline teaches you to look for what is working in your life and creates a space for you to focus forward.

2. Personalize your appreciation when you are engaged with people

If you want to make a difference in a person’s life, identify specifically how you can add value when you extend gratitude. Some people prefer a one on one thank you whereas others enjoy the public recognition. Cater to your audience and understand what matters to them.

3. Take an authentic approach to expressing gratitude

There is nothing worse than a tokenistic show of appreciation. Have you ever seen the team leader providing lip service?  When we authentically show gratitude, the people around you experience benefits of feeling more optimistic, increased levels of enthusiasm and become more alert to recognize opportunities. When we embrace gratitude as a given rather than an exception, culture shifts. People are more willing to spread positive feelings with others and ripples are created.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

4. Counting our blessings

Gratitude fuels potential and transforms perspective. When you are grateful for what you have, the immediate response is a deep sense of appreciation. Our standards are upgraded and our energy prioritized into contribution – how can l add more value? When we are truly thankful, there is little room for below the line thinking. This means not immersing yourself in blame, complaints or excuses because when you have a deep sense of appreciation for what you have, you don’t look further for greener pastures.

5. Invest in a gratitude night

Martin Seligman in his book Authentic Happiness described an exercise in which he asked his students to select one important person from their past who made a positive difference in their lives and whom they have never properly thanked. Each student brought their guest to the class, expressed their gratitude publicly and created a memorable experience. This was a night they remembered for the rest of their lives.

6. Health and well-being benefits

Leading scientific expert on gratitude, Robert Emmons highlighted through research that people who demonstrate consistent gratitude experience stronger immune systems, longer and better sleep and higher levels of optimism. Gratitude creates social benefits by allowing us to experience how we have been supported by others and by recognizing the positive traits within ourselves in order so we can appreciate others.

7. Love languages of your team

Success is always created by a team, never in isolation. When we recognize our colleagues and how they have contributed, gratitude is a powerful driver in driving culture. The Five Love Languages of Love, by Dr. Gary Chapman identified how everyone communicates love and expresses gratitude towards others.

The 5 ways are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Tangible Gifts. When we apply this to our teams, it is a great opportunity for team members to explore how the five love languages are communicated. Additionally, another way is to apply the love languages to how you lead your team.  

“I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday.” Gary Chapman

8. Everyone has a deep-seated need to feel valued and appreciated

Gratitude is easy and takes little money. It’s heartfelt thought and action such as showing appreciation as a leader by creating a gratitude board where staff can write notes of thanks to their colleagues or create an online message board. Whether it is a handwritten thank you note, a genuine heart felt phone call, or a public display of recognition, recognizing contribution creates a culture of valuing people.

9. Leading by example

Gratitude starts with you. You cannot be a leader without capable people to lead. When your gratitude is genuine and heartfelt, you will attract interactions that are open, gracious and thankful. An emotionally intelligent leader uses gratitude to inspire others.

Today, people have a desire for more meaning at work as part of an organizational shift toward a truly human workplace. Employees deserve to be treated as human beings thus leading companies are being rewarded with workplace cultures driven by purpose, appreciation and respect. Southwest Airlines is one of the role model companies priming itself on a gratitude inspired culture. Even more than that, their message is clear, people come first.

How do you express your gratitude for others? Let us know by commenting below!

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website http://angelakambouris.com/ or through her Facebook.

Advertisement
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chip Hanna

    Feb 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Love the article.

    • Angela

      Feb 15, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you Chip. Appreciate the feedback 😁

  2. Melinda

    Sep 3, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Focusing on what is great in your life is awesome for crowding out the bad and letting you double down on your strengths … great post!

    • Angela kambouris

      Sep 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Definitely amplify your strengths and always people first. Thanks for the feedback 😊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

How to Appreciate Life and Not Just Exist in It

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Do you sometimes stare off into space and wonder “Why am I here?” “What am I doing?” or “There has to be more to life than just this.” We get caught in the everyday routine of sleep, work, home, sleep, work, home, and…you get the point.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

7 Ways to Declutter Your Personal Health

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

For most of us, our health is cluttered. Not necessarily cluttered by stuff, mind you, but cluttered with information. Too many new diets, new must-have supplements, or new workout plans. Too many opinions on how much water to drink, which must-have supplements to take, and how much sleep you need. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

Life Lessons From The War of Art That Will Change Your Life

Published

on

Life is chock full of both good and bad experiences. But, when times are hard, it’s, unfortunately, a natural reaction to revert into yourself as you take on the blows that life has dealt you. However, with that said, there is one simple truth that I’ve tried to stand by over the years. Instead of hiding away from the world during the tough times, always take a second to reflect on what got you to that position in the first place.  (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

There’s More to Life Than Building a Business: 4 Areas of Life That Also Need Your Attention

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

You don’t have to look very far to see a post, article, or video about what it takes to build a business. The advice ranges from “build with balance” to “hustle until you die or you’re not trying.” (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending