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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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5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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