Leading with Gratitude (Part 2)

To recap last week’s blog: As leaders, we need to stop and look back at how we got to where we are quite often. We need to shake off the discomfort and say “thank you” to the folks that helped along the way, whether they shared a talent, gave their time, or walked us through a process. We stop, say “thank you,” and everyone wins.

When I was younger, I attended 4-H Camp in Appomattox, VA, at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center. Right after the US and Virginia flags were lowered, we engaged in a really popular activity: Mail Call. Outside of swimming in the pool, this was one of our most popular activities. Our name would be called (in front of 230 other campers), and we would have to run to the middle of the human horseshoe and grab mail, our mail, from friends and loved ones. I cherished the letters that I received because it made me happy that someone reached out to me (and took the time to do it!). That feeling continues to this day when someone takes the time to connect, personally. In this case of gratitude, we leaders get to take the lead in initiating the gratitude by sending along a note, a card, or another way to acknowledge a member of the team.

So how do we do that…and do it effectively? There are three things to keep in mind when you share gratitude:

  • Be Specific – Be detailed on why you are thankful and what they did. A lot of leaders do not know what their team members contribute, only that it gets done. Know it and reflect on that.
  • Be Honest – Be sincere and do not generalize things. Reflect on what they did do, not what you think that they did.
  • Be LOUD – When you publicly share your gratitude, it is so powerful. It also shows that you are watching their work.

Have you given gratitude liberally? If you must think on that, then my challenge to you is to ramp it up and make your gratitude substantial. Order some thank you cards and keep them in your desk or make some of your own. Make time in your schedule to acknowledge the people that you need to thank. Set the tone! Take the time to look back and say two of the most important words – Thank You.


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Posted: August 18, 2021

Category: 4-H & Youth, AGRICULTURE, HOME LANDSCAPES, Natural Resources, Professional Development, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: Communication, Community Resource Development, Conflict Management, Gratitude, Leadership, Ocextension, Professional Development

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