Gratefulness can be an effective tool for business leaders – it empowers employees, boosts workplace morale and improves their own mental strength, writes Graeme Donnelly
Many people are quick to repudiate the power of gratefulness, particularly within the context of business and leadership.
It’s often dismissed as a fanciful, hippy-dippy concept. The type of unconventional notion touted by carefree, eccentric people who possess no knowledge of business. How wrong!
As a business leader, gratefulness is one of the most powerful tools you can use to motivate your team, increase productivity and grow your business.
The benefits of gratefulness have been studied for years, and there’s a great deal of scientific research that demonstrates the positive impact of employing this strategy in business – one example being Berkeley University of California’s Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude.
One person who champions the power of gratefulness is Louise Russell, managing director of life coaching firm A Promise to Myself, and winner of the prime minister’s Points of Light Award. Russell firmly believes that gratefulness is one of the most effective tools in business leadership.
“Gratefulness equates to the ability to see the good in any situation,” she says. “In times of extreme pressure, it is a proven tool for regaining balance and focus. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, if you genuinely engage in the practice of gratefulness it will change you. It allows you to focus on what’s going right in your life and in the workplace.”
Gratefulness in practice
As a leader, it’s all too easy to become swamped in the pressing problems of the day. But despite the stresses, there is always something to be thankful for. Here’s the secret: that psychological shift in perception, from negative to positive, changes our leadership approach. As we change our approach, we inspire others to do the same.
Our characteristics as leaders ultimately define our success. Think back to your leadership role models when you were starting out. What characteristics did they have? In what way did they inspire you? Did they make you feel empowered and give you praise for a job well done? Did they recognise your potential? If so, at some level, these leaders practised gratefulness.
By genuinely engaging in the practice of gratefulness in the workplace, you will boost the morale and performance of your employees, they will feel more valued and respected, and they will be inspired to work harder for you. As a result, they will be happier in their jobs and more committed to you and your business.
Gratefulness can also improve your own happiness and mental strength. This means you will sleep better, you’ll feel more energised and motivated, and your resilience to stress and challenging situations will improve immensely.
You can secure all of these benefits by simply showing genuine appreciation and choosing to focus on positives instead of negatives. Give it a go and see the results for yourself.
Graeme Donnelly is a member of IoD London and the founder of 1st Formations, a London-based company formation agent, which provides a range of company structures and company formation packages, and business address services