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Leading with Gratitude

With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching in the US, this is the perfect time to reflect on how we are leading with gratitude. Though why is this important? Well, gratitude uplifts, boosts productivity, and increases engagement. In fact, the authors of the popular book Leading with Gratitude note that when genuine and specific, gratitude is the, “easiest, fastest, and cheapest way that managers can boost performance and employee engagement.”

So, with such an amazing cost-benefit ratio, why aren’t more leaders practicing gratitude? The reasons tend to span across a number of factors including but not limited to the belief that fear is the greatest motivator of employees, the belief that there is no time for gratitude, and the belief that no one cares cares about gratitude as long as they receive a paycheck. These are obviously misconceptions as supported by numerous case studies and empirical research study. 

So, you may be wondering how can you incorporate gratitude into your management. Well, as a leader, there are several quick and easy ways that you can practice gratitude. Consider the three below high-impact ideas:

1. Allocate a few minutes daily to reflect on gratitude. 

You may have heard of a gratitude journal and how a daily reflection on those items for which you are grateful. In addition to considering those general things in your life for which you are grateful, consider making time to truly reflect on your work team.

2. Celebrate wins, both big and small. 

So often we become caught up in higher-level goals that we tend to lose sight of the small victories. If one of your team members does something great, no matter how small it may be, take a few moments to thank them (tip: handwritten notes are golden!). 

3. Give employees a voice.

When an employee has an opportunity to share their voice, they feel valued; when an employee is directly solicited for their feedback, they feel even more so. So, consider looping your team into decisions and directly requesting that they chime-in with their valuables input. 



Gostick, A. & Elton, C. (2020). Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results.