The Positive Impacts of Gratitude; How Practicing Gratitude Builds Better Leaders

Practice Gratitude.

One of my all-time favorite quotes about the power of gratitude is, 

“Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary”
~Margeret Cousins 

Within these words is the idea that the simple act of showing appreciation can cause a ripple effect that has the potential to incite change and transform lives. Every individual has the power to motivate and inspire. In today’s world it can be easy to forget to pause, reflect, and give thanks to yourself, others, and the world at large. Whether you are responsible for a company, a team, or simply yourself, taking the time to truly value those around you can lead to profound change, innovation, and collaboration.

The Benefits of Gratitude for Individuals

Practicing self-gratitude is immensely important for maintaining one’s personal wellbeing. In fact, recent studies have shown that this can lead to higher self-esteem, reduced depression and anxiety, as well as a better sleep cycle.1 By making the conscious choice to view oneself through a lens of optimism and thanks, you are placing yourself on a pathway of happiness, fulfillment, and calm. 

Additionally, in a study published in the “Personality and Individual Differences” journal about how gratitude corresponds with the “Big Five” - 5 characteristics most often studied in psychology - it was discovered that, “overall, gratitude was positively correlated with certain facets from the extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness domains, and negatively correlated with certain neuroticism facets”. 2

This means that practicing gratitude benefited the 4 positive traits and did not impact the one negative characteristic. By practicing gratitude, not only will you feel more energetic, open minded, patient, and empathetic, but you will also be a better leader because of it. 

Tips For Practicing Self-Gratitude

Practicing self-appreciation can be easier said than done. Here are some tips for getting started: 

  • Gratitude Journal - make it a habit to write in a daily journal where you remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for. 
  • Be Careful of How You Speak - Words matter. Be aware of how you speak about yourself and the world around you. Make sure to talk about what you are grateful for. 
  • Share your Gratitude - Talk about what you are grateful for with others. 
  • Think Creatively - What are some creative ways you can show appreciation? 

Team Leadership - How Gratitude Creates Better Teams 

Beyond showing self-appreciation, practicing gratitude at work can be instrumental for creating a healthy team culture. As a leader, making a point to give thanks to those you work with can not only have a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing, but also improve team dynamics, innovation, and employee retention. In a survey conducted by Glassdoor, it was found that “81% of employees say they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss” and that 53% of employees would stay longer at a company if they felt more appreciated at work.3 

A positive side-effect of increased gratitude in the workplace is that feelings of belonging go up as well. By feeling valued as an individual rather than just a cog in the wheel, team members can feel a sense of ownership in the projects they are a part of and are more invested in the outcome. 

By setting an intention to include more gratitude in your life, not only will you reap the benefits of a healthier and happier lifestyle, but this attitude will ripple outwards and positively impact those around you as well. 

Give Thanks

set an intention to give thanks to someone every day. This can be appreciation for work well done or a characteristic that you value.