Gratitude – The Importance of Thanksgiving!
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” — William James
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” — Eric Hoffer
As the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, we are reminded of the power of saying “thank you” and being grateful for clients, friends, and family that support us throughout the year.
Especially in this challenging post-election environment, it would help for each of us to focus on gratitude for the many blessings and opportunities we have been fortunate to receive.
Human beings long for recognition, and the business benefits of addressing it has long been understood. Yet some leaders and managers tend to undervalue the importance of recognizing employees. In a landmark Towers Perrin study, employees felt that recognition was twice as important to them as their managers had thought it would be. So tell your company bosses, peers, subordinates, and family/friends how much you appreciate their contributions to your business, life and career.
What may be missing in some organizations is not an understanding of the importance of recognition—after all, managers are employees, too. Rather, the missing element may be a sense of gratitude. If you cultivate a keen sense of gratitude for the contribution of all your employees, then recognizing the best ones, as well as the best efforts of all of them, becomes a natural—and sincere—expression.
By cultivating a sense of gratitude for everyone you work with, you will find that employee recognition stops being a chore, and becomes a natural expression of what you already feel. Extend the process of cultivating gratitude to your co-workers and any executives above you, and you will discover qualities you appreciate in even the most challenging of your work relationships.
Of course, gratitude isn’t just about recognizing employees. Rather, it is a mindset that can become part of the fabric of an organization. Leaders with a positive mental attitude can trigger a virtuous cycle in a company, energizing employees and achieving superior performance. A sense of gratitude is a key element of that positive mindset, and it quickly becomes infectious. Fostering a sense of gratitude—for each other, for the opportunity to have challenging and engaging work, for the cup of coffee your co-worker just brought back from Starbucks, can enhance the quality of your own work experience, as well as elevate your workplace.
The notion of expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life is a common and natural theme of the Thanksgiving season. Extend that idea from your personal life to your work life and you will find you have created even more blessings for yourself—and the people you work with—in the process. And certainly, once you develop an appreciation for your blessings at work, you will find even more to be thankful for in the rest of your life.
All of us at Executive Connections LLC wish our clients, friends, and connections a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. We want each of you to know we are grateful for the business, kindness, friendship, and support you provide to us.