One of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. What I love most about this holiday is time spent with family and friends, and of course great food! And It’s also a time to express gratitude. Growing up, my mother had us go around the table on Thanksgiving and share what we were grateful for. Sometimes what was shared was serious, like our health, our jobs, family or other blessings. And sometimes what we shared was funny, like being grateful that mom finished the food on time, that the turkey wasn’t dry, or grateful for sweet potato pie! Whether funny or serious, I loved that every person had something to be thankful for. It’s a time where we turn our hearts towards the people in our lives and how grateful we are for them.
But what about the people we lead and work with? Showing our gratitude for who they are and what they do is vital, not just during this time of the year, but throughout the year!
Here are some ways you can practice gratitude as a leader:
1. Tell Them
Say thank you! It may seem obvious, but verbally expressing your gratitude means a lot. And not just thank you for a job well done, but thank them for being on the team, for working hard, staying late, going the extra mile…You get the idea!
2. Encourage Them
Give positive feedback. Let them know how they’re doing. Great job on that project, really happy you’re on the team, or I really enjoy working with you.
3. Show Them
Make a small gesture. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or require a lot of time; it really is the thought that counts! Buy them a cup of coffee, send them a card to say thank, let them leave early or come in late.
4. Affirm Them
Compliment them about a quality they have that you appreciate. It’s even better if you do this during a meeting. Complimenting their work and using it as an example will inspire and encourage them as well as others.
When you say thank you, give positive feedback, make small gestures and compliment the people you lead or work with you show that you notice them. They will feel appreciated and recognized!
Leader, please know that I’m grateful for YOU!