I’ve always believed that the best leaders are those who operate from a place of gratitude and appreciation. This is because—just as with stocks—when people are appreciated, they increase in value and contribution.
In teamwork settings, being conscious of expressing gratitude is even more important because when we’re working against deadlines, there’s a natural tendency to focus on all the things that haven’t yet been done. Especially when things aren’t going our way, we can slip into blame patterns:
“Why haven’t you done your part?”
“Is this ready yet?”
“We need to move faster.”
But what if the opposite approach were taken?
Focus on appreciation ideas.
Instead of focusing on everything that’s not working, start by appreciating all the progress that’s already been made.
Ask yourself how you can express gratitude for what’s already been done or contributed. Or perhaps you can lend appreciation and understanding for why things aren’t moving according to schedule. Is there an obstacle getting in the way of your team taking action on certain tasks?
Developing appreciation ideas means your team doesn’t have to be on the defensive, and instead can focus on being creative and productive.
Gratitude and appreciation grease the wheels of teamwork.
When I’m appreciating what other people are contributing to a project, I know I’m going to get the best result. At Strategic Coach, one key way we practice creative gratitude is to start every meeting with each person sharing something they’re excited about or an area in which they’ve made progress.
This helps everyone appreciate what’s going on in one another’s lives and is also guaranteed to get everyone not only physically but mentally present. We also end every meeting by having people share their biggest takeaway or insight. These practices help you connect with your team emotionally and engage them at a much higher level.
“Gratitude and appreciation grease the wheels of teamwork.”
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Learn how your team likes to be appreciated.
Find out what appreciation ideas your team members prefer. In general, introverts like a personal, handwritten note. Other more extroverted personalities love to be celebrated in front of their peers, with lots of applause.
Don’t assume that everyone likes to receive recognition the same way you do.
The world wants to give you more.
When we’re actively engaged in recognizing things to be grateful for, it’s a very powerful place from which to operate, because when people feel appreciated, they want to give you more.
The most incredible teamwork dynamic is established when people feel taken care of and appreciated; not only will they contribute just as much in return, but you’ll also grow together.