Gratitude: The Key to Better Living

31 Mar

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If you’re a leader, or plan on leading in the future, you have to encourage those under you. And you have to employ a myriad of techniques. Not everyone wants praise in the same manner. Some need it more frequently than others. But everyone deserves it – whether for meeting a goal, keeping their cool, implementing a cost-saving change, tackling the boring bits, or just getting on with the daily grind without needing any prodding.

Face to face encouragement is essential. Acknowledge things right when they happen. Thank people for stepping up and pitching in. But don’t only do it verbally.

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Written truth is powerful. It can be shared. It can be looked back on. It can be preserved word for word how it was intended. Write a thank you note or a quick postcard. Even if you are only sending it internally. Send an email to a team but include a line for each individual thanking them for their unique role. If you, as a leader, can identify their individual contributions, you will gain respect. When thanking someone for going above and beyond, CC their boss. And ask HR to include a copy in their personnel folder. Keep a running Word Doc or notebook or Evernote list of the accomplishments of those you write performance appraisals for.

And it’s not just employees. Thank your spouses and your kids and your waitress and your public transport driver. Keep it sincere. Make it a positive habit until it becomes a natural reflex. Always err on the side of gratitude.

You may not live longer, but you’ll certainly live better.

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One Response to “Gratitude: The Key to Better Living”

  1. Susanna March 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Good stuff! totally agreed. and I see my gummy bears!!

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