Knowing the difference between being thankful and expressing gratitude will make an impact on your leadership.
Being thankful is the first step. It’s a heart issue. When our thankfulness stops there, however, the only people who know about your thankfulness are you and God.
In part 1 of this series on ‘Gratitude,’ I talk about how expressing thankfulness for those around us actually models healthy leadership. Today, I want to look at ‘being’ vs. ‘expressing.’ There is a difference.
I can be the most grateful husband, father, and pastor there ever was… but without letting others know, my thankful heart benefits no one.
So, what are some practical ways to express ‘Thanks’ to others?
- Say it! (this is the easiest one) And me specific. Say, “Thanks for giving up some time on your Saturday” or, “I really appreciate your attention to detail.”
- Write a Thank You note to them on social media and tag them.
- Email or text them a private, specific word of thanks.
- Post a photo on Instagram of an individual or group and say something about how they add to your life.
- Give them a hug. (and not an emoji)
- A phone call mid-week, even on a voicemail, can add huge value to someone’s day.
- Write a simple sentence or two in a Thank You card and snail-mail it. (yes, I mean with stamps. They still make those.)
Gender Issues | If you’re married, exercise wisdom when expressing ‘Thanks’ to members of the opposite sex. For example, I do side hugs with women, have my wife sign ‘Thank You’ cards with me, and cc my wife on emails that are just sent to individual women. We simply don’t want to ever send the wrong message, to them or anyone observing us.
“Expressed gratitude clarifies things of value in our life.”
Whoever it is…whatever it’s for…and however small or large the ‘Thanks’ may be, simply let your heart of gratitude be known. Start this week of Thanksgiving and let it be ongoing.
Question: What are some creative ways you have either expressed or received thanks? Leave a comment below.