On Leadership and Expressing Gratitude


With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought about how often do we express our gratitude to people around us?

I find that most of the times, we take people for granted especially if we know a person for some time whether it is in our personal life or professional life. We start expecting a certain behavior from these people that we rely upon but we forget to express our thanks to them.

Appreciating people is a good way to maintain a healthy relationship.

Expressing Gratitude

Expressing your gratitude is a very crucial skill that a leader needs to have and should not neglect in any circumstance. Gratitude can be expressed in various ways, the more creative it gets, and the better it is received and remembered.

Put yourself in their shoes and think how you will feel to be thanked.

Needless to say, it needs to be heartfelt and one cannot be robotic about it. Not only it matters that you thank someone but also in the manner you do it makes a difference too. If you do it too often, it loses its significance. You don’t want to be on the other end of the spectrum either.

So, Who Gets It?

Who should you express gratitude towards?

  • You close friends and family members who often are taken for granted.
  • Your co-workers and supervisor. Even supervisor would like to be appreciated and praised. Don’t assume it is only you who needs appreciation from the supervisor all the time, return the favor too when the situation arises.
  • This is a tricky one. If someone is emulating your behavior, they are giving you a compliment, therefore appreciate their gesture.
  • People in the service industry often do a thankless job. These people would like to be appreciated as well. Make sure if they give you a good service that you acknowledge it in the appropriate manner.
  • Volunteers should be specially thanked for their time and effort. A lot get done by volunteers in various events and organization and their effort needs to be well appreciated.

How To Express Gratitude

Let’s look at different ways to express gratitude:

  • One can express gratitude subtly by returning a favor.
  • A more explicit way of expressing gratitude is to praise someone in public for what they did for you.
  • Giving someone a thoughtful gift or a greeting card is another way to thank them. Putting some thought into what they would like as a gift works wonders.
  • If someone has unconsciously been nice to you because of their very nature, don’t let that go unnoticed. Make sure to mention to them how much you appreciate their giving nature. More importantly, don’t abuse it by taking it for granted.
  • If your mentor spends a lot of time with you in coaching, one way to thank them is by being mindful of how much and what you ask them. Being aware of how much time you ask them to spend with you, you are being respectful and grateful.

Remember that people, who are constantly expressing gratitude to others, tend to be happier in life. And, it makes them someone worth following!

So how often do you take the time to express gratitude to those around you? How many times do you either neglect or forget? What can you do to make sure that you express the kind of gratitude that the people you lead need in their lives? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Aditi Chopra
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
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Image Sources: principalspage.com



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