It’s that time of year again when thankfulness is at the forefront of our minds. Thanksgiving is a national holiday deeply rooted in the American character, dating back to some of the earliest European settlements in what would eventually become the United States of America.
It is a time to reflect on the things for which we are grateful and to offer thanks, but it may also be a good time to reassess how we express gratitude to those around us—both at home and in the workplace.
Effectively displaying genuine gratefulness can improve all areas of our lives, and those that find themselves in leadership positions at work will find that consistently showing gratitude for the contributions of others will not only improve the corporate culture but also net positive results regarding productivity and earnings.
Here are three ways that cultivating an attitude of gratitude in ourselves can lead to better results.
1. Being sincerely grateful will increase your general well-being.
Studies show that having gratitude and showing appreciation for that which you are thankful can improve many different but interconnected areas of your life, including your physical and psychological health. Of course, this will naturally help you increase your productivity while simultaneously making it easier to avoid behaviors and attitudes that cause problems, such as being a rude and overbearing micromanager. Making a habit of showing heartfelt thanks will strengthen your ability to positively connect with others on an interpersonal level and will make you a more effective leader.
2. Showing your appreciation for others will positively impact their attitudes and performance.
Leaders who express their appreciation for the contributions of those with whom they work are more likely to earn their employees’ appreciation, respect, loyalty, trust, and effort. While it is important to express gratitude frequently, it is equally important to express
genuine gratitude for specific reasons if you hope to positively influence others without coming across as insincere or phony. There are many ways to show your appreciation for others: saying thank you, writing a note, offering an award, providing advancement or growth opportunities, etc. Whatever way you choose to express your gratitude, just make sure that it is authentic.
3. Fostering a culture of gratitude can create a cycle of reciprocating positivity.
In a previous article, we explored the power of reciprocity and how it can work for you. As a leader, communicating heartfelt thanks to those around you can have a similar effect. If you truly appreciate the contributions of your associates, you are more willing to value their input and include them in decision-making processes. This, in turn, can lead to less defensiveness and divisiveness among coworkers, which will lead to more engagement from all team members while increasing the likelihood of innovation and productivity. Therefore, creating an environment where everybody feels valued leads to a perpetuation of positive energy.
As you take time away from work with your family and friends this holiday season, consider how much you have to be thankful for and let those people for whom you are grateful know why you appreciate them. This can strengthen your relationships both at home and at work, generally improving the quality of your life. Additionally, as a business leader who practices expressing gratitude, you will likely see the added benefits of improving production, innovation, and profits. It is something worth considering now and any time of the year.