4 Reasons Why Gratitude Makes More Effective Leaders

Gratitude has an extraordinary impact in every area of life. It not only elicits behavior in the person who is expressing it, but it also elicits response in the person who is receiving it. Gratitude ultimately drives helping behavior and builds relationships. Customers and potential customers love to feel that you are grateful for their business. This gratitude creates strong bonds of loyalty and mutual support. Employees and colleagues are more committed and productive when they know that you are thankful to have them on your team.

One Forbes author named Erika Andersen writes, “People who are grateful not only seek out more successes, they draw successes into their lives. When you are grateful, others like to be around you. Your appreciation includes and supports them. You help them see the positive elements inherent in daily life, and to feel more hopeful about the possibility of future success. ”

Gratitude is an often-overlooked aspect of leadership, but it is so important for cultivating the proper spirit and mental attitude to lead. Gratitude is more powerful than most people realize. When a leader exercises true appreciation, they become more successful in business and in their professional relationships.

Grateful leaders gain respect from others

Since gratitude is so powerful, it can revolutionize one’s leadership. Gratitude demands a response, and that response is invariably positive. A leader who is grateful towards his or her employees gains their respect. The simple act of gratitude produces other behaviors. When a leader takes time to intentionally thank her employees, she or he gains their respect. We tend to respect people who exemplify true appreciation.

Grateful leaders gain the trust of their employees and colleagues

A leader who thanks his employees gains their trust. Gratitude can’t be faked, and that’s one of the reasons why it is one of the emotions that elicits the most trust. Gratitude creates trust, which can serve to benefit any workplace.

Grateful leaders inspire engagement and effort

A leader who thanks his employees gains their effort. Your employees and coworkers will feel appreciated and will consequently feel like what they do makes a difference. Gratitude also produces greater effort in those who sense it. Gratitude is meaningless unless it’s specific. Gratitude, like I mentioned above, has an ultimate objective, but it also has an immediate cause. Someone says, “Thank you, that was brilliant! You totally rocked that project!” That kind of grateful language is encouraging, because it’s a reward for effort. When we’re rewarded for our effort in such a way, we want to give even more effort.

Grateful leaders gain the appreciation of their employees and colleagues

A leader who thanks his employees gains their appreciation and prevents other undesirable emotions. We appreciate virtue when we see it in others. Thus, when you express gratitude towards other people, your behavior will gain appreciation. Grateful people are rarely angry. And angry people are rarely grateful. In his article “Grateful Leaders Make the Best Leaders” Carey Nieuwhof writes “Gratitude neutralizes your anger and jealousy.” It’s nearly impossible for anyone to be in a bad mood when you’re in a positive and appreciative environment.


Inc.’s Geoffrey James wrote “If you're not exercising this emotional muscle, you're probably setting yourself up for failure. I'm utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.”

Gratitude is a daily effort. When you begin your day from a place of gratitude it informs the emotional state of the rest of your day. The fact is, gratitude isn’t just an emotion that we can turn on or off whenever we please. It’s an entire approach to life that requires intentional, persistent attention, and internal change. Gratitude also involves effort, not just reflection but action. It can change our lives for the better.

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