The Power of Gratitude for Leaders
by Kiki Orski
The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery. But did you know the research also supports that a positive attitude contributes to greater success in work?
While we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain personally and even more difficult to promote at work. So many of us in Leadership positions only notice what is broken, undone or lacking. Yet for gratitude to achieve its full potential at home and at work, it needs to become part of our daily routine. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, and share it with our staff. We need to develop a new habit, the habit of purposeful gratitude. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all the possibility of life. When we practice gratitude as Leaders we are giving our employees the gift of praise which is so severely lacking in our busy workplaces.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things at home or at work are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Whatever you put your focus and attention on, grows, improves or gets done. Problems, pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the positive, we gain a feeling of well-being and possibility. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope that our situations can be better.
There are many things to be grateful for: employees that show up, colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, processes that are efficient, the ability to help others, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, the ability to read, our health, our purpose and our passion. What’s on your list?
Here Are Some Ways to Practice Gratitude at Home…
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
And at work…
• Start each staff meeting by authentically thanking your staff for their work.
• Every day search for at least 2 staff members doing exceptional work that you can thank for a “specifically” good effort.
• Make a gratitude collage by pasting pictures or copying comments from the Client or Customer Comments your staff receives.
• Make a decision to find the hidden opportunity for improvement in every challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining at work, remember you are a role model. Your staff look to you for guidance on appropriate behaviors at work. If you walk around complaining they will think that is acceptable behavior and will follow your lead. Instead every time a problem occurs, search for three possible solutions and share with your staff. This way when they face a problem, you can ask them to do the same.
Want more information on the Power of Gratitude in the Workplace? Then read this article linked below in Fast Company Magazine. I hope you enjoy it!
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling both at home and at work. You will also see a positive change in your employees. That is gratitude at work.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!