Gratitude this Christmas

Last year our blog was about gratitude and meaningful connection as the pinnacle of Christmas gifts. I can’t think of anything that would knock it off the top of the tree this year. Expressing your gratitude to someone of itself creates a meaningful connection as we pay attention to what we love (and often we get more of what we pay attention to by virtue of noticing it).

Credit: Jo Boniszewski

Sincere gratitude is critical for motivation and wellbeing at work and thus plays a key role in building a sustainable culture.

“As we studied the best teams, the best leaders, the best cultures, there was always this thread of gratitude—always.. And so it became very apparent that it wasn’t a nice-to-have if you were to be a great leader. It was an absolute must-have.”*

Gratitude is at least as important at home too. Wellbeing courses often highlight stress busters such as deep breathing and mindfulness. Listing reasons to be grateful is a mindful activity and always worthwhile but especially if you’re feeling down because of – well, we may all have a rather long list right now.

Gratitude activity

If you’re looking for the perfect antidote that goes to the core and will warm you for longer than fleeting pick-me-ups (like shopping, a drink, a bar of chocolate) I suggest a gratefulness inventory.

Can you find 10/20/30 things to be grateful for? Start close and go out further – your family, the memory of loved ones; enjoying a view; that person who always smiles and says good morning; the wonderful coffee served in the café.

When doing this exercise, it helps to have a gratefulness buddy who can inspire you to discover new things you’re grateful for.

Of course, it’s not just about listing – it’s about bringing back the emotion. How did each one of those experiences make you feel? Can you feel your insides smile? Can you make the smile even broader?

And the next part of the challenge… what could I do that would make people feel grateful? Not in a transactional way, but something I could do or be that would make someone feel lifted, a small kindness, an unexpected smile, getting in touch with someone…. Chances are you are already impacting those around you – how could you be a gift without having to buy one?

We are so grateful for you:  our clients, colleagues, and friends, those who take time to read our offerings. This year has been an opportunity to re-connect in person which has meant such a lot to us both. Thank you for your trust in us, for your connection, for your attention!

We wish you a wonderful Christmas and many great things in the New Year ahead!

In our book we talk about “human sustainability” achieved by recognising and considering the dignity of all people at the centre of organisational life.

Leadership through Covid-19 and Beyond

Anne Stenbom and Helen Battersby

Global Business Leaders

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