5 Sincere Ways To Express Gratitude
Published on July 25, 2019
Is thankfulness a survival skill that you need?
Maybe most of you would respond with, “No, thankfulness is not key to survival,” and I would tend to agree with you. But I’ve found as leaders’ thankfulness is a key to our own growth, thankfulness is a way to grow others, a way to stay grounded. Too often, when we think we have accomplished it all on our own, our ego’s gets in the way. We lose our ability to have empathy, compassion, and most of all, our ability to pour into others because we are all consumed with who we are and what we have.
Taking time out to have a time of reflection of gratefulness allows me to see that gratitude is the antidote to the three deadly diseases that can ruin a leader: pride, isolation, and selfishness. When your name graces a company, it’s easy to develop an inflated sense of self- importance. How quickly we forget the many hands that contribute to our success. Such arrogance drives us away from people. The resulting isolation blinds us to the needs of others.
But let me give you this key phrase,
“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want to become and lead and grow others to join you on the journey of true leadership.”
I believe one of the greatest and perhaps one of the simplest lessons in life we can learn is to be thankful for what we have already received and accomplished.
Now thankfulness is just the beginning. Next, you’ve got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance—it means working on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your family, friends, colleagues, and your team. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it’s amazing what the impact you can have on others.
There may be no better way to express gratitude than to find enjoyment in helping others succeed and to always treat others better than they expected to be treated. Here are five simple ways you can express gratitude. Let me know how you have changed as a leader by implementing these simple ways of showing gratitude.
1) Start the practice of sending one email per week to a person in your life who has made a positive impact. Reach out to someone who has influenced your career or creative development. Write a note thanking them for the impact they have had. It will remind you of how many wonderful people that surround you daily.
2) At work have a Thank You wall or better yet use the company TV in the lobby to have a rolling video that you share what great things your staff is doing in the company or the community. Use this video to thank and praise each and every team member who has gone beyond to make stuff happen for your clients.
3) Ever have taken the time to volunteer? I have benefited from many wonderful opportunities throughout my career in volunteering for a different organization like HomeAid, the local VOA, with youth groups, and my church. Take your staff out and volunteer as a team for a non-profit and see the impact it makes on the morale of your company.
4) Gratitude should be personal. The more personal it is, the more meaningful it will feel. Try to take an extra moment to think about how the person would want to be recognized. For some people, it’s a public compliment, and for others, it’s a quiet moment of recognition. Keep cardstock in your desk so that you can write a thank you card, and try to tell the person, “This is why or what you did that is so meaningful to you.” Taking that extra step to say why their work mattered to you makes all the difference.
5) Gratitude is one of the most important keys to success. By showing others your gratitude, you are attracting positive thoughts, and that ultimately attracts opportunities. Make gratitude a part of your daily life! Make sure you express your gratitude from the person serving your coffee at the local coffee shop, to the person who is helping run your business. Aside from attracting opportunities by expressing gratitude, it makes the person receiving the message feel great, and in turn, you are attracting opportunities to pour into another person’s life.
Arthur M. May AIA Assoc. President