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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?


  • Senior Manager, RBS

    "Thank you to Ingrid for delivering a session around emotional intelligence, which is imperative for entrepreneurs and business owners in order to drive their business forward even when faced with difficult decisions. Ingrid’s workshop had the perfect balance of theory and practical tools to help support business owners, her interaction and hands on approach with the audience left everyone feeling engaged and motivated. I came with away with a much better understanding and some tangible techniques to use to increase my EI. Thanks Ingrid!" Melissa Hulme, Entrepreneurial Development Manager, RBS

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  • Executive Director, NHS

    "The Board feels very different now. We're a team, more conscious of each other's strengths..."

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  • Exec Headteacher

    "I highly recommend Ingrid. She has a varied and effective set of coaching strategies that have been so valuable in allowing me to really identify the key issues going on in my mind and focus on action which will move me and my schools nearer to our goals..."

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  • Building a culture of recognition and gratitude

    Gratitude and recognition impacts more on people’s motivation and drive than any pay rise. And isn’t just a fad – the evidence is in the science. It encourages greater activity in the hypothalamus part of the brain, which controls essential bodily functions like eating, drinking and sleeping. It helps us to put problems into perspective and so people tend to be less stressed and experience less anxiety and depression. When we recognise and value people, we encourage the release of the hormone dopamine, a feel-good hormone connected with our motivation and drive. When we give recognition, it also encourages the release of oxytocin, which is connected with our empathic and caring nature, which also helps us to feel good and positive about ourselves.

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