Taking a few minutes each day and giving thanks for what we are truly grateful for refreshes our brain and body and…renews the spirit too. Leaders who are grateful feel more positive about themselves, their work, and life in general. And guess what? Peers and followers can feel it too.
Gratitude reminds us to appreciate what we have, not what we lack.
Interestingly, there are studies that point to positive outcomes not only for employees but for the organization as well.
- The results of a study suggested that employees gain benefit, in the form of greater job satisfaction, through belonging to a workplace culture that endorses gratitude (Waters, 2012)
- In their book, “The Power of Thanks,” Mosley and Irvine share how social recognition, gratitude, and appreciation empowered employees and heightened organizational performance
In our coaching practice, we have found that leaders believe they are “doing their best” but…that it often feels like never enough. What can be most important is having an openness to challenging old mental tapes and the willingness to engage in new practices. By doing so, we develop new neural pathways, and thus, healthier thinking.
Dr. Antonio Damasio, neuroscientist, stated… “We are not thinking machines that feel, but emotional machines that think.” If one follows this assertion, then it make sense that our executive functioning – how we think, process, and make decisions – will be enhanced as we modify our outlook to one of appreciation and abundance…right?
Some practical tips on “getting to grateful” (particularly when you don’t want to):
- Write down 10 things you are truly grateful for, close your eyes and give thanks for these.
- Communicate gratitude (a word, phone call, or text) to someone special. And, importantly, thank yourself occasionally. Self-affirmations are a great tool to practice the art of taking care of you.
- Write a thank-you note as putting pen to paper is powerful. There is a visceral connection here and writing generates more feelings of goodwill and accomplishment than doing it electronically.
- Taking time out for a “gratitude check” – engaging in brief meditation to give thanks to someone, institution, and/or a higher power. This practice results in a feeling of spiritual renewal for many.
Stay well and excel. Drop us a line with your thoughts, questions and input, thanks!
Joe Lemmon, Ph.D.
P.S. Here’s a great clip from a leading researcher: Robert Emmons: Challenges to Gratitude