Gratitude Generates Generosity
One of my closest friends had a great leadership habit of showing his appreciation for others. On a regular basis, Wayne boldly expressed his gratitude with a personalized hand -written card or note. We would get together on a frequent basis and every now and then I would get a card in the mail expressing his gratitude for our friendship. His thoughtfulness would always put a smile on my face and I would want to return the gesture in some way. I can think of many times when his appreciation would change my attitude towards gratitude for others as well. Wayne is no longer with us, and I still have many of the cards that he gave me.
When I was a kid my grandmother taught me to write a hand -written note when someone did something nice for me. I have to admit that I got out of the habit, in part because of the digital age that we live in. It’s much easier to send a quick text or email to thank someone for their time and contribution. But making the extra effort of sending a hand -written note or publicly acknowledging a team member’s efforts really stands out.
Recognize the Effort Beyond the Paycheck
Leadership requires that we keep our focus in front of us. We forget or purposely neglect looking back and recognizing the contributions by those that helped create magical business performance. Having an attitude of appreciation greatly contributes to a culture of gratitude. The leader sets the tone for the team and their mindset. When gratitude is routinely expressed, staff members don’t just work for a paycheck, they want to further the mission.
Two Thoughts for Boldly Expressing Gratitude
1. Be sincere. We have all at one time or another received a half -hearted thank you. Maybe you decided not to show appreciation as a result of it. Contemplate on the efforts of others and how they have contributed to the mission, even though it’s their job to do so. The employee may be going through some tough personal issues and receiving sincere appreciation is what they needed to get through the day. Showing appreciation is a great way for relationship building.
2. Be specific. Give the appropriate gratitude for the specific person. I have talked a lot about the power of a hand -written note. Some people become more motivated by public recognition of their successful efforts than only receiving a note. On the other hand, If you know that an employee is embarrassed by public displays of appreciation, then only sending a note is a better option. Use good judgement and personalize your gratitude.
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