So, make gratitude specific, authentic and personal. Be conscious of your choice of words, voice and body language to help connect with each person to make the feedback authentic.
Don’t rely on formal mechanisms for gratitude and recognition. Expressing gratitude and showing recognition at a personal level is more likely to have a deep and lasting impact.
Respond patiently and robustly to people who may express negativity. When we do something new, it’s not unusual for some people to express negative thoughts. Keep professional in your response, patient and consistent.
Reward effort as well as success and adopt a stretching, ‘not yet’ response to work in progress. Encourage people to think that by remaining focused, resilient and trying out different ideas, they will get there. This helps to build a growth mindset, which underpins self-belief and drive. It also promotes openness to change, flexibility and creativity. Avoid stepping in to do your team’s work for them, this doesn’t sustain high performance in the long term.
Use curiosity and interest to build further connection and motivation. Ask open, exploratory questions that will help to motivate staff and build closer relationships.
Set yourself a target – one piece of gratitude or recognition every day. You work at least 8 hours a day. Think of the impact that your leadership could have when just five minutes of those eight hours is your full attention on giving someone some quality recognition. What difference can you make today?