During this month of thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking a lot about how gratitude applies to leadership. I’ve read several blogs and a couple of books on this topic and thought I’d share the lessons with you.
Recent scientific studies have shown many benefits to expressing gratitude including increased happiness, productivity, better sleep, and stronger relationships. We often think that gratitude and thankfulness are reserved for our friends and family at the end of November. Not true, say many leading business experts.
Expressing gratitude to our professional colleagues, co-workers, volunteers, and other supporters is a sure-fire way to build a stronger relationship based on trust and respect. From that foundation, we can build better listening and learning skills needed for collaboration and common ground solutions.
Sounds so simple, right? Unfortunately, no. Expressing gratitude is often something my friends and I have to challenge ourselves to do. Once a year, we take ten consecutive days to share three reasons we are grateful. I even have a spot on my daily planner to write my gratitude for that day…it is often blank. While I am immensely grateful for many people and opportunities, I struggle with the next step of expressing that gratitude.
After reading these articles, I now more fully understand the undeniable benefit of taking that next step and am challenging myself to do so – not just for ten days a year, or at the end of November, but everyday.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward