In my close to 20 years of studying leadership and how organizations and people work, there has been a theme that I didn't truly notice for quite sometime, because it seemed so small and insignificant. What I noticed was that the most influential and effective leaders always made writing thank you notes and notes of encouragement or praise on a regular basis to those around them. These people have taken the lost art of thank you card writing and used it to enhance their leadership and their everyday lives.
Enhancing your leadership: Why would something as simple as writing a thank you note enhance someone's leadership? It starts with the fact that it is simple but not easy or everyone would do it. The reason why thank you notes mean so much is because it requires someone to take the time to write them. Thank you notes have more impact because they are not the normal means of communication anymore. Text messages, emails, or social media posts do not carry as much impact because they become so commonplace that they lose their impact. The interesting thing is that thank you notes do not take much time at all, but in today's day and age where everything is so fast paced, rarely do people make time in their day to practice this important habit. Leaders would be wise to understand the power of making this a regular part of their routine. When leaders pay attention to those they lead and show appreciation through verbal and written compliments, they are meeting a basic human need. The more leaders sacrifice their time to recognize those they lead, the influence they will build in the lives of those they lead.
"IT'S Simple but not easy or everyone would do it"
Enhancing your everyday life: What life benefits could ten minutes a day writing a thank you note have on my everyday life? Robert Emmons, the world's leading scientific expert on gratitude, notes that practicing gratitude daily carries a host of life benefits including physical, psychological, and social. Practicing gratitude keeps us focused on the good in the world, when it is so easy to stay concentrated on the negative. By practicing the skill of focusing on the good each day in people and situations, we are more likely to see the good when adversity hits, which leads to an overall increase in happiness in ones life. Gratitude also reminds us of our need for others support. We rely on others more than we realize sometimes and the more we are reminded of that, the more our humility will increase, which leads to an absence of pride and arrogance in our lives that leads to stress and more stress.