5 Simple Steps for Taking a Gratitude-First Leadership Approach

Maybe you’ve crafted a few New Year’s resolutions. Maybe a few of them have already started to slip through the cracks while we’ve eased into 2021.

However, there’s one resolution that will yield beneficial results for your organization as the year progresses: demonstrating gratitude. 

If you’re a business leader, between Slack messages and answering emails, it can be easy to forget that the recipients of your exchanges are people too, and even a quick “thank you” can go a long way to reinforce these crucial relationships. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through 5 simple steps for taking a gratitude-first leadership approach as we head further into Q1, including:

  • Why gratitude is an important practice in the business world
  • Why it’s important to maintain an attitude of gratitude while in a leadership position 
  • 5 actionable strategies that leaders can leverage to practice gratitude in the workplace—regardless of if it’s in-person or virtual

Why is Gratitude Important in the Business World?

When you hear the word “workplace,” the concept of “gratitude” might not immediately come to mind. However, at a high level, there’s actually a science behind practicing appreciation in business environments. 

According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, when gratitude is displayed and communicated, individuals rise in three areas: 

  1. They feel more valued.
  2. Their emotional connections are strengthened.
  3. They develop a strong sense of personal loyalty. 

Gratitude Outcomes

These three gratitude outcomes combine to build reciprocity, which is the human need or tendency to want to pay it forward when something is received. 

And, when you make a concerted effort to express your appreciation towards your professional contacts, this same concept of reciprocity will come back around in the form of greater opportunities for both you and your business.

If you’re curious to learn more specifics about how gratitude can lead to business growth, check out our Ultimate Guide to Converting with Gratitude

Why Business Leaders Should Regularly Demonstrate Gratitude

There are a variety of reasons why gratitude is an important quality for business leaders. Specifically, consider the following three benefits that result from incorporating expressions of appreciation within your managerial approach:

1.) Workplace productivity becomes enhanced

In one study examining workplace environments, researchers observed two groups of fundraisers at a university where one group received a personal pep talk from the director, who thanked them for their efforts. The following week, the group that was acknowledged made 50% more fundraising calls than the control group. 

2.) Maintaining a growth mindset is encouraged 

Since new evidence suggests that gratitude motivates individuals to engage in self-improvement, expressing appreciation in your professional exchanges will encourage your colleagues and reports to maintain a growth mindset as they approach their regular projects and discussions, as well as their professional development.

3.) A humble attitude is amplified

According to Forbes, not only does being thankful and expressing gratitude help to improve decision-making, but gratitude is closely linked with humility. Therefore, grateful execs are regarded as humble execs.


By adding a little bit of gratitude to your leadership style, not only will you build stronger bonds with those in your network, but proliferating appreciative statements will also help you to become regarded as more influential

5 Simple Steps for Taking a Gratitude-First Leadership Approach

If you’d like to add “demonstrate gratitude” to your list of 2021 workplace resolutions, here are five simple steps that you can take in order to enact a gratitude-first leadership approach: 

1.) Practice mindfulness – Although it may be hard to take a step back from your computer screen and evaluate your day-to-day communications at a macro-level, it’s important to try to be self-aware, and ask yourself how you might be influencing those whom you’re connecting with. So, try to practice mindfulness by discerning if your actions or decisions are detracting from your words. 

2.) Enact positive recognition – When your coworkers, clients, or prospective partners exhibit beneficial behaviors, be sure to recognize them in order to reinforce their actions. Additionally, this will ensure that they feel valued by both you and your company. 

3.) Consider your tone – Since it can be difficult to tell whether you’re conveying encouraging sentiments in your conversations, try asking others for feedback so that you can ensure that your attitude is perceived as positive. 

4.) Avoid expressing aggravation – Roadblocks will inevitably occur as Q1 unfolds, but it’s important to avoid expressing your aggravation outright. Instead, when you feel your frustration rising, take a moment to pause and, “Raise your words instead of your voice.

5.) Reinforce your relationships Expressing your gratitude towards your contacts doesn’t have to be daunting: reminding those in your network that you’re Thnkful for your relationship is as easy as sending a quick “Thank You” email, or sharing a personalized gesture of appreciation.


An Additional Resolution for 2021

Whether your 2021 plans were finalized weeks ago, or you’re still solidifying a few initiatives, a guaranteed way to create a big impact for your business as the year progresses is by expressing an attitude of gratitude. 

Making little investments in your relationships with your employees, clients, and prospects alike will go a long way towards making the new year a strong one. 

Fortunately, demonstrating your appreciation is as easy as saying Thnks

Saying Thnks can help you easily strengthen your relationships with your prospects, clients, and employees. Within seconds, users can send gestures of appreciation with their professional connections by searching for an expression, creating a customized note, and sharing it via SMS or email. To learn more, book a demo!