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9 Ways for Leaders to Amplify Their Gratitude

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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.

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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