7 Reasons to Incorporate Gratitude into Your Leadership Style

Reasons to Incorporate Gratitude into Your Leadership Style

Happy Thanksgiving month here in the United States! This time of the year, it’s common for people to start reflecting on what they’re grateful for. That may be a challenge for many people this year. Finding the small things that bring you joy can really make a difference in how you view the world—and how you act as a leader. In this article, we’re exploring why it’s so important to lead with gratitude and ways you can cultivate more gratitude in your everyday life.

Reasons to Lead with Gratitude

Before diving in to the practices, reflect upon why leading with gratitude and grace is important to you.

1. Gratitude is contagious.

Sometimes we like to say: The medium is the message. When you show up as a grateful leader, it rubs off on others. This builds a culture of gratitude, similar to how compassionate leaders can build a culture of compassion.

2. Gratitude leads to new opportunities.

“The highest form of gratitude is accepting reality as it is.” When you let go of judging people and situations and simply acknowledge what is, you can see the reality of what’s happening around you. This increased awareness helps open up your peripheral vision to realize more opportunities in your everyday life.

3. Gratitude Builds Connections

According to this article, leaders who practice gratitude “[recognize] how the positive things in our lives—like success at work—are often due to forces outside of ourselves.” And often, those outside forces are other people or organizations. When gratitude is practiced as a collective, leaders and workers feel more motivated to connect their appreciation to the rest of the world—resulting in a sense of connectedness to other people.

Interested in other ways to build connections? Read this article that shares how to connect with people, even when we’re physically distanced.

4. Gratitude leads to reflection, and reflection leads to learning.

Practicing gratitude—no matter how you practice—is innately a reflective activity. The question, “What are you grateful for?” forces you to reflect upon your day-to-day life. Much of the learning process happens during reflection. Use this to build your learning skills and improve upon what you’ve noticed.

5. New neural connections are made when practicing gratitude.

Reflecting on the positive aspects of your life produces both serotonin and dopamine, both of which make you feel good. The more active these brain circuits are, the more you can re-wire your brain to think in a new, positive way.

6. It builds your courageousness.

Looking at what has worked well in your life can reinforce what you are truly capable of. Even when you want things to change, keeping a gratitude list will remind you that you are capable of change, and increase your confidence to continue being courageous in your everyday life.

7. Gratitude improves centeredness.

The power of centeredness springs from an inner mental, emotional and spiritual calm. Leading with centeredness will help you inspire others and be more influential in the workplace. Start cultivating centeredness by incorporating gratitude practices into your leadership style.

Ways to Practice Gratitude

There are many ways to express gratitude in your life. Here are a few to try out:

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Whether it’s a few bullet points you write every week, or a formal daily gratitude journal (like this one), a gratitude journal can help you form a habit and mindset of gratefulness. Get creative—a gratitude journal doesn’t have to be just a journal. It can be a jar full of gratitude notes, an app or an email to yourself.

Write a Gratitude Letter

Let’s preface this by saying you don’t have to send the letter. Pick someone who has had an impact on your life, and write a letter to them explaining what you’re grateful for and how they contributed to that feeling.

Notice and Observe

The easiest and quickest way to make gratitude a habit in your life is to stop and notice when you’re grateful for something or someone. Look for simple moments of connection or small acts of care or kindness. When specific moments happen, pause briefly and link that moment to a feeling of gratefulness. This brief reflection will cultivate more satisfaction in your life.

Join Our Next Dialogue on How to Lead with Grace and Gratitude

Join Cylient CEO Dianna Anderson on November 18th at 10 a.m. PST when she will be sharing her thought on leading with grace and gratitude, and why it’s so important to do that right now. Sign up for free here—and don’t forget to bring your questions and experiences!

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