What inspires you? When we’re asked that question it can be tempting to focus on big, momentous acts.
In business, leaders imagine standing up in front of their team during a challenge and having the ability to motivate the masses; saying just the right words to make a powerful impact and move people into positive action.
When it comes down to it, however, employees don’t need for you to be the Master of the Universe to inspire them on a daily basis. In fact, it can be as simple as taking the time to share your appreciation for their hard work.
That’s it. Really.
A truly inspirational leader sees the best in each individual and the gifts they possess. Inspiring, in this sense, is a way of stimulating and lifting people to a new level of creativity and energy. It’s about seeing the greatness and value in someone and going the extra step of sharing this with them.
Sharing the qualities you admire in someone will motivate them for general purposes, but can also build their self-esteem, or self-realization of their strength when they need it most. When employees feel inspired, they will go to great lengths to put forth their best effort.
Demonstrating your appreciation helps you focus on the good in others, which also makes you feel good. It’s pretty easy to find strengths in those we enjoy working with, but is more difficult with those we don’t like.
Here’s what I know for sure: You get what you expect. Some call this the self-fulfilling prophecy, but the fact is our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected.
Imagine the impact if you changed your expectations of others, especially those you have struggled to work with effectively. You may find that they have a strength that can be leveraged and you may discover some newfound respect for their abilities that changes your relationship.
HERE ARE 5 STEPS TO BUILD YOUR GRATITUDE MUSCLE:
- Observe those around you and intentionally look for their strengths and valuable qualities. Do this for each member of your team and those within your sphere of work. Write down your discoveries and keep them handy so you can share them appropriately.
- Find at least one redeeming quality for your office nemesis or that employee you struggle to manage. This may be difficult, but when you focus on their positive attributes, it will change the way you interact with them moving forward!
- Share your thoughts authentically and in a timely fashion. When you notice someone doing something wonderful, by all means, tell them! Leaders often only call people out when they screw something up. Be a different kind of leader and point out the positives.
- Create opportunities to inspire others. Find some time to share at your next 1×1 meeting, or during a performance review, or when an employee comes to you feeling stuck or lacking confidence. Build them up and show them respect and they’ll support you with fierce loyalty.
- Keep it simple. You don’t have to make an elaborate speech in front of your whole company for your feedback to be meaningful. A quick hand-written note or email is a great start. If you can, talk with the person face-to-face so that they get the full impact of your message.
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” – Margaret Cousins
A workforce that feels inspired will be loyal, motivated, and productive. So, what are you waiting for?