I want to talk to leaders about gratitude in the workplace. November 1st always seems to kick off the season of thankfulness. Although Thanksgiving celebrations will likely look different this year, signs are still popping up everywhere encouraging us to be thankful. The word “Thankful” will be hung on doorways, strewn across mantles and even on decorated cookies in your local bakery.
But the once-a-year-around-the-table Thanksgiving type of thankfulness or gratitude isn’t the kind I want to talk about. This month, I want to challenge you as a leader to create a habit of gratitude in the workplace that doesn’t just stop the day after Thanksgiving but continues to drive you through December and all the days in 2021. I want to talk to you about a type of gratitude that has the power to transform you as a leader and your team. The benefits I’m talking about will last much longer than your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.
- This type of gratitude will transform your team’s performance.
- This type of gratitude will level up your leadership.
- This type of gratitude will open your eyes to opportunities where there were once challenges.
That type of gratitude in the workplace involves three important steps.
It Starts with Your Team
Express gratitude for your people. This subject is not talked about enough. The irony of gratitude not getting expressed or discussed is how valuable it is for people to hear. Many times people will leave a job, a relationship, a friendship, or a business partnership due to a lack of appreciation. Think about how powerful that last statement is – people will walk away from money, from livelihood, from love, from building something to feel appreciated elsewhere.
I regularly talk about leading, listening to, and loving your people as requirements for being a great leader. This is why. Expressing gratitude is an important way to lead, listen to and love your people. Great leaders take time to show their people that they are thankful for them, that they appreciate their efforts, that they’re grateful to have them on their team. Because when people feel appreciated, they give their 100 percent and passionately contribute toward the collective goal.
This November, I challenge you to intentionally express gratitude for your people every single day. Tell them. Show them. Remind them often. And watch your team thrive.
Trusted Advisors are Required
Now, look around you. Who is on your support team? Who do you ask for help?
I often am asked how I do it all. And my answer is always the same – I don’t. The reason why I say I don’t “do it all” is because I focus on something extremely important to my success – the people I surround myself with. The people in my life are amazing, honest with me, and they help me do more than I could ever do on my own. They are my trusted advisors and are all incredible at contributing to, participating in, and fighting for my mission and vision.
Every single day I am thankful for them. I’m grateful for these amazing people I have in my life who help me to get through the challenging times so many of us are facing. Do these people make the challenges go away? Of course not. Do these people give support, perspective, and ideas to better address the challenges? 100 percent.
This is exactly why choosing who we allow in our lives, to influence us, to teach us, to guide us, as we do the same for them, is so important. Because we need people to help when times are tough and to celebrate with us when times are great. Because no one does it alone, no one overcomes the challenges of life and business on their own.
This is where another important requirement of becoming a great leader come in – knowing when to ask for help and allowing experts to support you. As a leader, it is easy to believe you are alone. It’s easy to feel like it’s up to you to figure it all out. I encourage you to step outside of that belief and let other people – especially experts – help you for a change. Asking for help is a sign of strength and receiving that support will only further your growth as a successful leader.
Just as expressing gratitude in the workplace for your people is important, you must also surround yourself with trusted advisors who will help you grow, and then thank them for it! Let the amazing people who inspire you and build you up know how grateful you are to have them in your life every day.
Even the Challenges get Included
When we recite what we’re most thankful for around the Thanksgiving table, challenges typically get left out of the conversation. But for leaders, challenges can be incredible opportunities that should always be mentioned.
This year has been challenging for everyone. With those challenges, I’ve also seen some leaders have incredible breakthroughs. The reasons why should encourage you to start expressing gratitude for your challenges.
Because the tough feelings that come with challenges are actually feelings of growth. Growth can be painful, yet it can also be purposeful. Remaining stagnant should never be your goal. Lean into that purposeful pain and grow.
Because challenges or obstacles provide an opportunity to get creative and try a new way. So often, leaders can get stuck doing things the same way because “this is how we’ve always done it.” Challenges disrupt the norm and require new solutions. This is your chance to get innovative!
Another thing I realized during challenging times like this is how gratitude in the workplace builds a resilient attitude. A resilient attitude in the sense that I cannot control what is happening on the outside, but I can control my response to it on the inside. In this case, I choose to respond with gratitude rather than be overcome by the external circumstances. Is it easy? Sometimes. Other times it is beyond difficult. Either way, I know the right, resilient thing to do is be grateful now.
So, the next time you’re faced with a challenge, practice gratitude in the workplace. Take time to reframe your attitude toward this challenge and express gratitude for the opportunity it presents.
This November, don’t let the act of expressing gratitude come and go with the holidays. Create a habit of gratitude and capture the power a thankful mindset brings into your personal and professional life.