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In the past, I’ve discussed the importance of gratitude (in short, it’s can make a HUGE difference in your productivity, work and personal relationships, and mentality), but this week I wanted to focus on gratitude ACTIONS. What are some ways you can show gratitude to others?

First of all, WHY is it important to show gratitude to others?

According to David Horsager, author of The Trust Edge, gratitude is the number one magnetic trait that attracts others to you. Additionally, when you show others gratitude, they feel appreciated and are more likely to want to help you in the future. This may seem obvious, but it’s a simple truth we often forget. People appreciate visible signs of gratitude.

Get started by trying out any of the 5 approaches below:

1. Say (and Write) Thank You.

Even if you act grateful (enjoying your meal, praising the work someone did, etc.), that’s not quite the same as actually saying, “Thank you.” These two words are worth a lot, especially when said with meaning. And don’t forget the power of a handwritten thank you note. It’s a gesture that shows you care enough about the other person that you took time out of your busy day to write something thoughtful.

During my career at 3M, I occasionally wrote thank you notes to the members of my sales team. I figured they would read them and eventually toss them, but one day I learned that one of my team members kept the thank you notes in his vehicle and glanced at them when he needed a morale boost. I knew thank you’s could be powerful, but this blew me away! You never know what your thank you might achieve.

2. Listen

Too often, we are so busy with all the thoughts in our own heads that we miss what others are saying. Show the person across the table from you that you are grateful for their presence. Sincerely listen to what they have to say before jumping in with your own story or opinion.

3. Extend an Invitation and Follow Through

If there is someone at the office (or perhaps an old friend or relative) with whom you’d like to connect, reach out to them! Too often, we become comfortable in our own cozy bubbles and forget the people at the peripheries of our lives. It’s as simple as asking someone to lunch or a quick cup of coffee. It’s not as scary or awkward as it sounds—turns out, people are almost always receptive to connecting with an old acquaintance.

4. Lend a Hand

Whether it’s cleaning up the dishes after a friend’s holiday party or offering to help your administrative assistant prepare for the next office get together, it’s always nice to give others support by helping out. (Bonus points if you also thank them for their hard work.)

5. Acknowledge Others’ Successes

It could be a co-worker, it could be your son or daughter—practice showing gratitude to others by acknowledging their good work. You could do this publicly (i.e. in a company meeting or when you’re gathered together at lunch) or privately. Share a specific example of what that person did or accomplished and let them know you appreciate their excellent work.

During this holiday season, let’s make an extra effort to show others gratitude—be they co-workers, family, or friends. Not only will your efforts be appreciated, you’re also helping to strengthen bonds, improve relationships, and set the tone for a positive path forward.

THANK YOU for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE

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