The holiday season is a good time to count our blessings and give thanks for the many good fortunes in our lives. Try and recall the person or persons who have helped you in your career. Who are they? What exactly did they say or do that made a difference in your life?
Consider writing them a note or giving them a call. Express the gratitude you feel and let them know how they made a difference in your life. Expressing gratitude has been known to help people feel better about themselves and improve their overall outlook.
Gratitude has a ripple effect. When expressed to others it builds trust and camaraderie.
Others know you value them and are more likely to value you in return. Consider returning the favor to those who have helped you by helping those who look to you for leadership.
Gratitude can be used to teach and support others in their career development.
Combine gratitude with feedback. Providing employees with frequent, specific feedback can be a powerful teaching and management tool. Preface feedback with, “I want to thank you for…”
“I want to thank you for clearing your calendar so we could make our Friday deadline.” This is an example of specific feedback combined with gratitude. Compare it to the more general, “Thanks for working hard.”
Gratitude helps employees feel confident about the choices and decisions they have made. It lets them know when they are on track and that their efforts have made a difference.
Use gratitude to learn from adversity. Assist employees in examining the problems they face and being grateful for the lessons learned. Those lessons are experience builders. Ask the question, “What lessons or takeaways can we glean from this event?”
Expressing gratitude is really the art of noticing — noticing what others do and how it affects their work and those they work with. By putting more emphasis on leading with an attitude of gratitude we can build confidence in others, improve productivity, foster innovation and develop positive relationships at work.
A few years from now, many of us won’t remember the gifts we received this holiday season. However, making time to express your gratitude to those around you can have a far more lasting effect.
To you and yours, Continuum EAP wishes you the happiest of holidays.