The Power of 'Thank You'
Expressing sincere gratitude energizes relationships and motivates excellence; making appreciation a consistent leadership habit strengthens workplace culture.
WRITTEN BY: ADAM DANYAL
Have you ever noticed how good it feels when someone sincerely tells you 'Thank you'? Those two simple words can uplift our spirit and energize us to keep going. Like a cool drink on a hot day, expressing gratitude refreshes our relationships.
Yet in the busyness of work, we often neglect this leadership superpower. We get caught up in the whirlwind of tasks, deadlines and demands. Our focus narrows to checking off to-do lists, not nurturing colleagues. Before we know it, days or weeks have passed without truly thanking team members for their contributions.
This oversight can slowly corrode commitment. Appreciation is the lubricant that keeps relationships running smoothly. When team members feel valued, they pour more passion into their work. But when gratitude runs dry, enthusiasm wanes.
Imagine you're an account manager who just spent weeks creating a polished proposal for a big client. You burn the midnight oil and skip family dinners to make the deadline. After submitting the finished document, you get a quick "Thanks" email from your boss and then ... nothing.
How would that make you feel? Deflated? Resentful? Unmotivated?
Now picture a different response. Your boss invites you to her office, looks you in the eye and says, "Sarah, I want you to know how much I appreciate the incredible effort you put into this proposal. It represents our company so well. We wouldn't have this opportunity without your dedication and skill."
How would those sincere words affect you? Energized? Valued? Ready to take on the next challenge?
The power of gratitude is immense, yet easy to overlook in our results-driven workplaces. That's why great leaders make expressing thanks a daily habit. They seize any chance to recognize excellent work with specific praise. They send handwritten notes, take teammates to lunch, celebrate milestones publicly.
Like sunshine nourishes plants, gratitude encourages people to bloom. But that sunshine must be constant. Don't let crowded calendars crowd out appreciation. Set reminders to regularly recognize colleagues' achievements, big and small.
Start each day by thanking someone who inspires you. End every meeting with an appreciative word for attendees' contributions. Share a story highlighting an employee's impact.
By infusing gratitude into your leadership style, you'll motivate team members to reach new heights. The positive energy of honest thanks will ripple through your culture, lifting morale and deepening commitment.
So open the blinds, let the sunlight of gratitude shine in, and watch your team blossom. Those two small words – Thank You – can change everything.
From our Leadership Bookshelf:
WRITTEN BY: JULIA DANYAL
Expressing gratitude has been shown to boost happiness and strengthen relationships. In "Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier," leading gratitude researcher Robert Emmons provides research-backed insights on the power of giving thanks.
Here are some key takeaways from his book:
Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. Expressing thanks for what we have now is a powerful way to appreciate life and feel satisfied.
Gratitude improves health. Studies reveal grateful people experience less stress, sleep better and may have lower blood pressure. Saying thanks could even boost immunity.
Gratitude strengthens connections. Thanking mentors, colleagues and family members deepens bonds and inspires goodwill. Feelings of appreciation create positive communication.
Regularly expressing thanks at work enables teams to thrive. Sincerely praising efforts, big and small, motivates and energizes. Gratitude fuels workplace passion and loyalty. Leaders can unleash this power through daily recognition and sharing specific stories showcasing employee achievements.
Simple messages of thanks have an amazing ability to nourish professional relationships and inspire excellence. Harnessing the science-backed benefits of gratitude will create a positive and supportive work culture.