October 30, 2012
Leadership with a Difference: Modeling Thankfulness
Earlier this month, our nation devoted a day to pause, eat turkey perhaps, and give thanks. But how often do we do take time to give thanks once we are back at work?
Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of Psychology at University of California, Davis, spent eight years researching the topic of gratitude. His research has led him to conclude that “people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an ‘attitude of gratitude’ will experience multiple advantages. Gratitude improves emotional and physical health, and it can strengthen relationships and communities” (www.gratitudepower.net).
Giving thanks has the power to not only boost our personal sense of well-being, but also to improve relationships that matter. Authors Kouzes & Posner in “The Leadership Challenge” highlight that there are “few, if any more basic needs than to be noticed, recognized, and appreciated for one’s efforts” (p. 299)
Concerned with the high turnover in one of your departments? How about surveying the internal climate of gratitude. Wondering how to improve innovation in your company? Try experimenting with intentional appreciation and see what new ideas get birthed in the months to follow. Want to improve communication with your direct reports? See how you can make genuine praise a hallmark of your personal leadership style.
Whether it is a note of thanks for a job well done, or recognition in a staff meeting for a creative solution, be sure to be authentic. Thanks that is self-serving can be smelled a mile away while heartfelt appreciation can leave a mark that lasts for a lifetime.
Don’t wait until next October. Resolve today to lead by giving thanks!
Rebecca is a communicator, coach, musician, and proud mom of three. She loves to create, whether it be a new strategy in the board room, or a new dessert in the kitchen. She loves to give life to ideas through the spoken and penned word. Rebecca and her family spent five years living life in Asia but are now settling back into Canadian culture, making their home in Richmond, BC.Back to Top