As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, why not let the spirit of the holiday inspire you to take action and show genuine gestures of gratitude to the team around you? While gratitude shouldn’t solely be reserved for this time of year, as CEOs we get busy and time tends to fly by. Sometimes the best intentions never actually come to fruition and expressions of gratitude are typically one of the casualties. So, if you’re like most and have slacked in this area, now is the perfect time to draw up your gratitude plan.
In order for it to be impactful, it must be heartful and genuine … not just a “way to go” with a pat on the back. Take some time and give some thought as to who you want to thank, what specifically you want to thank them for, and the best way to express your gratitude in a meaningful way. It’s simple – who, what, and how.
The who and the what are typically pretty easy for CEOs to identify. It’s the how that can stifle even the most seasoned business leaders … especially “the how” with something heartfelt and genuine.
As busy business leaders, we often resort to the $80 gift basket of wine/cheese/chocolates delivered by mail with a pre-printed “thank you” note on the packing slip. While the expression might be appreciated and consumed, this doesn’t fall into the category of meaningful and genuine. It falls into the category of “you asked your assistant to send something.” Thanks.
Genuine gratitude is meaningful to the recipient and is heartfelt by the giver. There are two approaches that will never fail you: 1) a hand-written thank you letter; and 2) the gift of your time.
The Hand-Written Thank You Letter
The first thing to notice is we didn’t call it a thank you “note” – it’s a letter. When you write a letter by hand, you invest time … and most importantly, you invest thought. There’s no delete button when you are writing a letter by hand, so when you write, you have intentional forethought.
It’s important to be specific about what you are grateful for, but it’s even more important to be specific about its impact on you and/or the company. It actually gifts the recipient with a deep feeling of not only appreciation, but of significance. Yes, people want their efforts to get noticed … but more importantly, they want them to matter. If you can make them feel like they matter, that they have impact, then you have shown genuine gratitude to the level that most never do.
The Gift of Your Time
The only thing more powerful and impactful than a hand-written letter of gratitude, is the gift of your time. Your team knows your schedule is intense and they know your time is valuable. Giving them the gift of your one-on-one time has impact and it grows relationships. If you really want to knock it out of the park, schedule time to share your hand-written gratitude letter with them in person. This gives you the opportunity for heartfelt eye contact and meaningful conversation. It makes them feel valued and appreciated with the added bonus of also having the hand-written letter to take home and share with their family.
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, what’s your gratitude plan? The benefits to your company from making this a cultural practice are tremendous. That’s a topic for another article!
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!
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