One of my executive coaching clients recently shared something that bears repeating. Years ago, when he was a bank officer in training, a senior vice president walked up to him and said, “I know we don’t get to talk much, but I wanted to thank you for bringing such a creative spirit to the workplace. It’s important to shake things up a bit.”
Up until then, my client had been worrying about whether he was going too far — if he was making suggestions and trying new things that made his colleagues uncomfortable. But that bank executive’s expression of gratitude washed away his doubt and set him up for a successful career of innovation and thought leadership.
Expressing gratitude is really the art of noticing — noticing what others do and how it affects you. Yes, our co-workers sometimes cause problems, but the vast majority of what our colleagues do helps us and helps the company. By putting more emphasis on leading with an attitude of gratitude, we can build confidence in others, improve productivity, foster innovation and develop positive relationships at work.
Here are five tips for leading through gratitude:
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