Today we dispatched the November edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the best leadership links from around the web, sent at the end of each month. This month, in celebration of Thanksgiving, all the articles featured are about gratitude. As always, we’ve compiled the articles from our newsletter here in case you’re not subscribed to our mailing list. (If you like what you see, you can sign up to receive our newsletter here).
Put Giving Before Thanks.
“Thanksgiving is not only expressing thankful appreciation but also about paying it forward.” says Skip Prichard in this thoughtful post that argues we’ve got the word order wrong in our celebration of Thanksgiving. We ought to be “giving” first, and then expressing thanks — and he provides some good suggestions for doing both.
Say “Thank You” Instead of “I’m Sorry.”
In this cartoon featured on Lifehack, the artist breaks down the many situations in which you might be better served by thanking somebody for their positive behavior rather than apologizing for your own actions. It turns out, often times when people say “sorry”, they really mean “thank you.”
A Script for Giving Thanks.
Do you feel moved to express your appreciation to the people who support you in your life and leadership, but you sometimes struggle to find the right words? Never fear. Mindy Mackenzie, author of The Courage Solution, has created this helpful gratitude script. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and send or say your message to somebody important in your life.
Empathy Is a Leadership Skill.
People need to feel appreciated at work. To effectively value people, you need the crucial skill of empathy, argues this Harvard Business Review article. The good news is, if empathy doesn’t come naturally to you, you can learn it with time and dedication.
Different Rituals for Giving Thanks
How do you give thanks? Turns out, it’s remarkably different for everybody. But we can learn and grow from reading about other people’s Thanksgiving rituals. In this fun New York Times piece, Americans from all over the country share their own traditions and customs for expressing gratitude with friends and family on Thanksgiving day.
Gratitude Is a Choice.
In this John C. Maxwell post, we are reminded that when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November a day for giving thanks, the country was immersed in the turmoil of civil war. But Lincoln still chose to believe in a better future and to feel grateful, “because gratitude doesn’t come from our circumstances; it comes from how we choose to see the world.” Maxwell calls on us to emulate Lincoln, and to choose gratitude in the face of adversity.
Science Says Gratitude Is Good for Your Brain.
Many leaders know that expressing gratitude is a good practice, and can increase positive feelings between two parties, but some studies also suggest practicing gratitude is actually good for you. This interesting article explains how the more you practice gratitude, the more you can reap the psychological benefits in your day-to-day life.
Being Grateful Can Make You Happier.
A recent Harvard University study has linked the act of being grateful with increased happiness. This Philly Voice post summarizes the findings and identifies three ways “you can build your gratitude muscle” for better results.
Are You Underusing Gratitude?
People don’t always consider “gratitude” among the most crucial leadership tools. But, “a growing body of research has uncovered the extraordinary impact of gratitude in every area of life” says this thorough post which provides an overview of the many studies that prove gratitude’s power, and serves as an exploration of how leaders can better leverage gratitude every day.
High-Achievers Express Gratitude.
Michael Hyatt asked 30 well-known high-achievers their secrets for success. Many of them identified “expressing gratitude” as a key practice. Learn some of their effective gratitude strategies here.
Go a Step Beyond “Thank You”
How do we grow engagement to build a high-performance enterprise? It helps to make people feel valued in meaningful ways. Consider these 4 powerful ways to make people feel valued that go beyond “thank you.”
Tough Leaders Show Gratitude
Today’s toughest leaders are discovering that the most effective way to foster high performance is by becoming expert relationship builders. This post explains that one of the best ways to forge relationships is by authentically thanking people for their contributions.
For even more reading, check out our gratitude link roundups from previous years: