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The Link Between Gratitude and Leadership

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“We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success.” Michelle Obama

Growing up, one of the first things we were taught was to say thank you. To be grateful for a favor, for someone’s help, or even for someone passing the salt during dinner. Did we ever take a step back and think about what gratitude really means? And the impact it has on us and those around us? Probably not, but it is never too late to find out!

Gratitude Has Many Benefits

According to Psychology Today, gratitude is “the expression of appreciation for what one has”, whether it is material comfort or relationships. Likewise, it is a deliberate effort to reflect on the positives in our life.

However, it is not about just the good things in life. Gratitude also means recognizing that we get positive outcomes with the help of those around us. In this case, gratitude, as a social emotion, creates a positive atmosphere.

Have you ever heard someone talk about practicing gratitude? Although it may sound odd, it can be practiced consciously. For example, some people like to keep a gratitude journal, where they write down things they are thankful for, big or small.

Being thankful brings many emotional and physical benefits. It boosts happiness and helps reduce stress. Additionally, people who practice gratitude have stronger immune systems, suffer sleeplessness less, and do better at work and at school. As a result, grateful people are more satisfied with life, as well as more optimistic, helpful, and compassionate.

The Connection Between Gratitude and Leadership

A grateful leader boosts employee engagement because employees feel valued as persons and that their work is also appreciated. A good leader should acknowledge the accomplishments of their employees. Also, good leader is approachable and encouraging. A research paper by the University of Pennsylvania showed that employees are 50% more successful if they have grateful leaders.

Gratitude has a domino effect. When a leader recognizes the good work of an employee, it is a confirmation that their work is valued. Consequently, that employee will feel happy and encouraged to perform better. They will feel secure about their job and more confident and motivated. However, the opposite is true. If someone’s work does not get the recognition it deserves, they do not feel valued and question whether they are doing a good job. They may lose their sense of purpose and eventually move on to another job. It means finding and training new talent, which is time-consuming and expensive.

Be grateful, retain your talent.

How can leaders cultivate appreciation? Here are a few pointers.

  • As already mentioned, keep a gratitude journal. It can be personal, job-related, or both.
  • Celebrate your team’s every win, be it big or small.
  • Do not give a generic “thanks” and move on. Be specific about what you are thanking them for.
  • Give your team daily compliments.
  • Acknowledge every team member, from the biggest star to the one who makes copies and coffee. Everyone counts.
  • Provide learning opportunities for career development. 91% of employees want relevant personalized, training. The same survey shows that retention rates are 34% higher among companies that offer career development.

English Services Can Help You Show Appreciation

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