The Color of Gratitude

Alas, summer is upon us.

The thaw of winter gives way to a blanket of colors and smells.  It is such a joy to watch the landscape blossom and grow. 

This birth may entice you to think about doing something different, something that helps others.  Have you planted flowers or other plants?  When was the last time you felt the brush of dirt against your hands?  Have you played in the mud recently?  There is a certain comfort in feeling the earth between your fingers. 

What a perfect opportunity to express a new form of gratitude.  Summer is a great time to share the gift of new life with others.  You could share new planters of flowers, vegetables and more.  Give a vase of fresh cut flowers or herbs – imagine the scents.

These are expressions that keep on giving.  Will you be moved to share with others?  Your options are limitless and full of potential – Enjoy!  What are you grateful for?  Reward these areas with summer flair.

Gratitude Challenge

I have a gratitude challenge for the day….could I do something new?  Unique?

Yes.  I am meeting a new person this morning to make a connection and to see if we have synergies that compliment.  I am going to enter this meeting with a spirit of gratitude.  What does this mean?  It equates to being completely present in the meeting and focusing on what I can add to the situation of the person I am meeting with.  This is a change from the perceived usual approach which is: what can you do for me?

If the people you came in to contact with today took this attitude, how would it change the course of the day?

I believe the changes would be dynamic and positive. 

Do you have a meeting today?

How about a phone conversation?

Will you be grocery shopping?

When you come in to contact with another person try a different tact – what can you do to add to their life?  To that moment?

Try this and see if it changes the course of your day.

May peace and positive energy illuminate this course in gratitude.

Appreciation Brings Out the Best in Everyone!

Management professionals are acutely aware of how proper leadership development can lead to greater team building success.

When we learn certain leadership traits we gain additional insight on what improves team building.  We also learn what motivates others.

Two common traits that help achieve these goals are gratitude and appreciation.  While these attributes are powerful it is also important to remain conscientious of the balance of these displays of appreciation.

Gratitude must be shown in a way that does not ignore employees or make them feel underappreciated, otherwise the result is counterproductive. 

Of course, there will be those that will acknowledge the positive nature of such a statement but might believe it is a little too rosy. In other words, how can you provide positive encouragement to underperforming employees? And if an employee’s performance was merely average, why should the employee be patted on the back?

It is never a good idea to encourage a poor performer to continue to perform inadequately. However, it is equally unwise to not show appreciation towards an employee whose productivity might not be the best, but he/she is definitely giving it their all.

Keep the goals and expectations appropriate and well communicated with the intended recipients.  This will ensure optimum gratitude, satisfaction and performance.  Manage things – Lead people and by all means do not forget the Thank you!

Graduating with Gratitude.

As the school year winds down, I think about all of the educators who are getting ready for summer vacation.  They have an awesome responsibility; raising our next group of leaders, doctors, astronauts and more. 

What kind of school year did you have?  Who do you remember from your school days?  Who made an impact on you?

Educators have a tremendous calling.  When a major event comes to an end it is not uncommon to express gratitude.  Do we do this at the end of the school year?  Would it be a nice surprise to show appreciation during a different time of year?  How about marking a date on the calendar this summer and sending a nice note to a deserving teacher at this time?  This doesn’t take a lot of time but it could make a great impact on the person receiving it. 

What a terrific gift.  If it is an actual gift that you would like to give as gratitude you could consider a couple of these:

Gift certificate to a bookstore

Gift card for a car wash

A Novel for summer reading

Baked goods made with care

Creativity is your only limitation.  You will also reap the benefit of opening up your mind and heart to the needs of others.  Take a moment – thank an educator. 

Congratulations graduates – a wonderful life awaits your contribution.

Residual Impact

Do you remember the gifts you received on your last birthday? 

How about the last handwritten letter you received in the mail?

Both of these questions may stir up the same response of uncertainty. Which one will you remember first? Do you still have yearbooks from your school days? Are there nice notes in the yearbook?

When we think about ways to express gratitude, the written word can become the most memorable and useful tool you have.   Remember one of the strongest legacies left behind by President Ronald Reagan are his famous letters to his wife, Nancy. 

The depth of feeling and expression in the written word is powerful.  When you are searching for the perfect expression of gratitude, I would like to recommend writing. 

This could take the form of a thank you note, a letter, a poem, a short story, a haiku, the possibilities are endless.  Add a special piece of paper and you have a truly unique gift.

Don’t wait for the perfect words to enter your mind.  As long as the words come from you, they will be perfect.  

 

Go forth in gratitude.