The combination of leadership and gratitude is extremely powerful. Gratitude helps you feel better and see the good things in life. When combined with a gratitude practice, you will also be able to anchor that positive feeling into your brain and body, thus being able to call on that positive emotional reserve whenever you need to.
The power of gratitude gives leaders the edge they need to quickly pivot during stressful situations, such as their team not performing or their bottom line dropping. When leaders pause for 60 seconds and use the Gratitude Practice outlined below, they give their brains and their bodies a chance to recalibrate. This allows them to focus not only on the present and how they can turn things around, but on hidden opportunities to be grateful.
While we tend to only think about gratitude during the holiday season or when a monumental event occurs, gratitude doesn’t need to be limited to those two scenarios. We can be storing up a large reserve of positive energy, generated through gratitude, all year long. Leaders can use this energy to ground themselves when life gets stressful. Each day gives us something to be grateful for and a little bit of gratitude goes a long way.
There are several ways that you can incorporate gratitude into your daily routine, such as journaling and mindfulness practices. My executive coaching clients have found the Gratitude Practice to be the most beneficial.
Close your eyes. Focus on a blessing in your life… something you are thankful for. See an image of this blessing in your mind’s eye. Offer a silent “thank you” to the person or object of your blessing.
Relax into the feeling of gratitude. Take a deep breath. Feel more gratitude.
The latest brain research shows that six doses of feeling 30 seconds of gratitude daily (a whopping three minutes!) will enable your neurons to fire together and wire together around gratitude within a mere two weeks.
This means you’ll more easily and frequently access the feeling of gratitude.
Heck, we’re grateful for that!
Doing Good Feels Good
When leaders engage in this practice on a regular basis, they are able to generate gratitude from within, which allows them to show gratitude to others. This practice also reinforces a feeling of gratitude as second nature because it reinforces myelination. All of these amazing results occur in under 60-seconds. We all have 60-seconds per day to devote to gratitude.
Christine Comaford is a leadership and culture coach and the author of SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together. Download an excerpt of her upcoming book, Power Your Tribe: Create Resilient Teams in Turbulent Times here.