by David Spungin
Thanksgiving is a wonderfully unique holiday where we press the pause button in our busy lives and take time to count our many blessings. Often motivated by the promise of a delicious turkey dinner, we connect with family and friends to share in a moment of celebration. For many, Thanksgiving is a single day event. Yet for the leader, the spirit of Thanksgiving lives year round. A savvy leader is always seeking ways to connect with others and demonstrate appreciation for their contributions. They tirelessly seek out the good in people and publically praise their value to the team. Leaders also never underestimate the power of simply looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand, and giving them an authentic “thank you.”
Yet, beyond thankfulness lives language that expresses appreciation like no other – gratefulness. To really personalize appreciation of your follower’s efforts, try expressing your thanks in terms of gratitude. For example, you might say, “Jim, your tireless work ethic this year has been outstanding. I want you to know how truly grateful I am to have you on our team.” The difference is that a “thank you” still implies that you are the one in charge. As a leader, you are offering them your prized thanks. Yet, when expressing gratitude, there is semblance of vulnerability. As a leader, you are humbly honoring their role and respect them on a different level. The result is that instead of just meeting their need for recognition, you are also building in them a sense of teamwork and inspiring loyalty.
This Thanksgiving, try reaching out to your team in a deeper way by expressing your sincere gratitude for their efforts. They will likely thank you for your leadership!