The Simple Shift that Supercharges the Power of Gratitude
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” William James
Criticism cuts. Gratitude heals and empowers.
The simplest form of gratitude is grateful-for.
You’re grateful for:
- A fine meal with friends.
- The successful completion of a major project.
- The reliability of the morning star in the Eastern sky.
- An opportunity to advance your career.
When you say, “I’m thankful,” you refer to yourself. Speak directly to the person instead. Use their name.
The transformative form of gratitude is direct address.
4 examples of grateful-to:
- Thank you, Mary. The graphics you added to your report made it more impactful to the team.
- Thank you, Joe. Your enthusiasm while we hustled to meet our deadline encourages me.
- Bob, thank you for the way you adopted our new processes. Flexibility serves you well and helps us get where we want to go.
- Sue, thank you for always following through. Your reliability lowers stress on our team. I know I can count on you.
#1. Direct address supercharges gratitude.
The above examples of transformative gratitude are spoken directly to the person. “Thank you, Mary.”
4 tips when being grateful-to:
- Use the person’s name at the beginning of the sentence.
- Notice quality work. Mary added graphics.
- Notice the impact of work. Graphics made Mary’s report more impactful.
- Notice character qualities. Sue’s reliability lowers stress on the team.
#2. Direct address humbles you.
Gratitude that begins with “I’m” hints of superiority. You may not notice the difference until you begin using direct address.
Somehow saying, “I’m thankful,” protects my dignity. (I speak for myself.)
“I’m thankful,” flows easier for me than, “Mary, thank you.”
Humility multiplies the impact of gratitude.
Today’s challenge: speak directly to people when expressing gratitude.
How might leaders multiply the impact of their gratitude practice?
How might leaders multiply the impact of their gratitude practice? As you mentioned “Sharing directly” is the first practice, the 2nd option is posting the gratitude from Clients on a board were others can see the praise, letting them know they are truly appreciated. Its easy to show gratitude, if we develop the practice of taking the time to do so the results surly can advance the morale of others.
Thanks Tim. Research supports the idea that receiving gratitude from people who have benefited from our actions causes better performance in the future. And, it’s free!!
Dan, thank you, I appreciate your daily insights, they a great day starters for me.
Thanks Ken. A good word is an encouragement. Have a wonderful weekend.
A grateful heart can be healing as well. There is always something to be grateful for day to day. Thank you for this powerful reminder.
Thanks Lysanne. There is ample research that says gratitude is really good for us. If a magic elixir existed, I think it would be gratitude.
Dan, I had a really bad night of anxiety just a few days back. One thing that really helped me overcome the anxiety was a long following day of gratitude. It is so healing. Thank you for sharing your insights. Dan, you have helped me change my life. I thank you very much.
Thank you Lisa. Your transparency and vulnerability are refreshing. We connect over vulnerabilities. Your experience of the healing power of gratitude aligns with research. It’s pretty hard to come up with a reason to practice ingratitude. It’s a pleasure to be of service.
Dan, thank you for your post. I appreciate your comments on the need others have for us to be grateful toward them. If I may add, we have need to be grateful. Our mindset and emotions connect with others when we thank them for who they are and what they do. Further, gratitude helps us look toward the problems and opportunities of today with renewed strength and vision. God gives us all opportunity to love Him and love one another. In this, our lives are fulfilled.
Thanks Victor. It doesn’t take long for people to spot a faker. Feeling grateful matters. Sometimes we listen to our aspirations and act grateful even when we don’t feel it. But, action leads to feeling.
Love the “who they are,” approach. I’ve had people say, “thanks for who you are…” it’s quite encouraging.
Dan, thank you for being a servant leader.
Glad you stopped in today, Daniel. Thanks for your kind words.
Dan, thank you for these wise words on the power of gratitude and how to make our words more impactful for the receiver. I learn so much from your posts each day and they have generated some great conversations with people I work with!
Thanks Christine. If you’re having great conversations then you’re definitely heading in the right direction. Best wishes.
Dan, spot on as always. We all like to feel appreciated! A simple piece of praise or gratitude can make your whole day. I think that this can be multiplied by doing something similar to a ‘daisy award’ in nursing. It is a public pinning ceremony for a nurse that goes above and beyond. Those ceremonies are always very special and tear-jerking. The nurse truly feels like gratitude from an award like that.
Great points. I think the next level here is move beyond your own gratitude practice to encourage others to do it, too. Recognize other people’s great work publicly, so you can model what it looks like for others. Ask the people who you work with to share examples of great work they’ve seen recently, and ask what they did to recognize it. Put a recognition program in place with your team. Talk about your daughter about her day and ask what she was grateful for.
Dan – that has become challenging for me, given a work-from-home environment. However, intentionality wins-out. Publicly and privately thanking those that go above and beyond, being candid and structuring a really good peer nominated recognition program has provided more feedback that I could have expected; it’s been great. What other best practices are out there?
Thanks Travis. As far a leveraging the power of gratitude, I’m keeping a gratitude journal this month (November). It’s having a powerful impact on me and the way I interact.