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  • Writer's pictureBarb Bickford

Leading with gratitude

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Quote "Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude" -- H.W. Beecher

It’s November in the US – the month we give some attention to gratitude.

You might be thinking “Not another blog about gratitude!” I get it. In one group I used to belong to, any suggestion of talking about gratitude brought predictable groans.

And you may ask, “What does gratitude have to do with leading meetings?” Well, in my opinion -- a lot! How we see our groups, their purpose and goals, and ourselves, influences how we lead. Our attitudes affect outcomes even if we don’t say the “G-word” out loud. Here are some examples:

-- When we are leading a meeting and someone brings up an unpopular concern, do we thank them for adding to our understanding, or do we silently judge them for trying to control or derail things?

-- Do we express appreciation for small things (“thanks for getting the minutes out on time”) or do we simply expect people to do their jobs?

-- Do we ask appreciative questions to inspire ideas rooted in real possibilities? Or do we focus on potential problems?

-- Instead of analyzing for SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), how would our group respond if we reframed our analysis as SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results)?

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather SOAR with a group than SWOT them, any day!

Gratitude sets a direction for what we do as leaders. What can you do today to infuse gratitude in your attitude and behavior? Can you pause right now to text someone something you are grateful for? Appreciate a colleague for a timely email? Look out a window, admire something beautiful and breathe “Thank you”?

Your group will thank you for noticing and inspiring them!

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