With thousands of daily distractions competing for our attention, it’s important to our health and happiness to take a deep breath and take stock of everything we have to be grateful for. Our gratitude should extend not only to our family and friends, but also to the people who fuel our professional success allowing us to thrive.

Being grateful is just the first step. The writer Gertrude Stein said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Gratitude in action is called appreciation—and everyone wants to be appreciated. Finding meaningful ways to acknowledge others is one of the most powerful ways to build connections that last a lifetime.

Gratitude in Action: 3 Ways to Get Started

Make the first move.

Don’t assume that people have already been acknowledged for a job well done. (Even if they have, it never hurts for them to hear it again.) Likewise, don’t assume that it isn’t your job or place to say “thank you.” Expressing your gratitude for the work of others helps build their confidence and gains their trust.

Make it about them.

Gratitude isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Some people bask in the glow of a public acknowledgement while others are more private. Tailor your thanks according individual personalities and tell people exactly what you are thanking them for. People will appreciate your specificity—and be more likely to continue the behavior for which you are grateful.

Make it routine.

It’s tempting to put gratitude on the back burner (“I’ll write a card or make a phone call when I have a free moment”) or to wait for designated days like birthdays, holidays or performance reviews to demonstrate appreciation.  Yet we would all be better off by scheduling time in our calendars for sharing our expressions of gratitude—even if it is just with ourselves, for keeping our hearts and minds positive and focusing on what we have instead of what we don’t have.

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

The most wonderful thing about cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” is that it is contagious. Gratitude has a way of breaking down barriers and making everyone feel good.

How will you share your “attitude of gratitude” with your connections and the world?

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The Connector's Way by Patrick Galvin

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