The most successful people are inevitably the people who understand that they couldn’t have achieved their successes on their own. Successful people are grateful to the role models who came before them, the mentors who coached them, the employees who helped them see their vision through, and the friends and family who supported them along the way.
If expressing gratitude isn’t something that comes naturally to you, you’re not alone. A survey of 2,000 Americans found that only 10% of people report acting on the impulse to express thanks on any given day. It seems that many of us are in fact grateful, but we fail to share that thought with the people who might benefit from the knowledge.
And this is a shame, because receiving gratitude at work or elsewhere can be extremely motivational and empowering. Having confirmation that your efforts are recognized and appreciated gives you that boost to go the extra mile and stay dedicated to a project or company.
So take steps to make gratitude a habit. Here are a few different ways that you can incorporate gratitude into your daily routines. Try one, two, or all of these methods to make yourself a more grateful leader.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
Keep this journal at home and every day right down one to five things that you are grateful for. It could be things that are happening at work or things that are part of your personal life. You’ll likely start off with overarching ideas like gratitude for your health or your spouse, but as the days go on, you’ll start to recognize the smaller moments that make you grateful.
- Start saying “thank you” every time someone does something for you.
Thank your barista when they hand you your coffee. Thank your waiter when they take your order. Thank your assistant when he reserves a flight for you. Thank your team when they complete a project. Getting in the habit of thanking people out loud when they do something that helps you, no matter how small, will make you feel more sincerely grateful for and appreciative of those actions. And it will make everyone you thank feel better, too.
- Take notes.
When someone does something that goes above the call of duty or truly impresses you, take note of it. Actually write it down. Then, at the end of the week or the month or the quarter, go back through all the great things that your team members have done and pay them back by recognizing their actions in some public way.
You could write an email, for example, to your whole team highlighting the best accomplishments of your staff. Or you could put together a celebratory dinner in which you toast each member for their biggest accomplishments. Doing this will help you realize just how helpful your team is and will make your acts of gratitude more sincere and heartfelt.