Speaking & Leading with Gratitude

The forth Thursday of November marks a day of giving thanks in the USA. Thanksgiving is a national holiday where we reflect upon and celebrate all we have to be grateful for. This day is a wondrous expression of our thanks among our friends and family but it needn’t end in this singular holiday celebration. Gratitude should instead be a consistent personal habit. For the last 15 years, the field of Psychology has explored this powerful and positive practice, elucidating its compelling positive outcomes such as:
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  • Improved health
  • Sounder sleep
  • Lessened anxiety & depression
  • Higher reported happiness
  • Better relationships

There are dozens of studies which back up this modern understanding of gratitude as a practice.

More than a Feeling

These many studies go far beyond the simple understanding of gratitude as a feeling and outline it more as a practice or habit. Like many other habits in life, gratitude as a practice can be powerfully positive. I’ve written previously on cultivating positive habits to optimize our speaking and leadership outcomes. Above and beyond, these habits make us a happier and healthier human beings.

Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle

As speakers and leaders you should espouse and practice habits which empower and drive your success. The practice of gratitude is one such powerful habit. Let’s explore how you might practice these habits:

Public Speaker Gratitude Exercise

As a public speaker you can practice being grateful by creating a simple list of five things you have to be grateful of as a speaker. These can be a skill, attributes, or insight you have that you may have on the subjects you are expert in. Do you have a unique personal insight into the subject to which you plan to speak? What way will you let it shine? Practicing the habit of gratitude is simple, all it requires is a quite place and a piece of paper.

  • Sit in a quite relaxed position
  • Take several deep breaths
  • Close your eyes, relax and think about what unique skill, attribute or insight you bring to your subjects
  • Write these down
  • Take a moment to appreciate them
  • Practice this appreciation of the unique gifts you bring as a public speaker several times a day for as long as it takes for your to feel them as nearly automatic.

Leadership Gratitude Exercise

  • Sit in a quite relaxed position
  • Take several deep breaths
  • Close your eyes, relax and think about what unique skill, attribute or insight you bring to your leadership roles
  • Write these down
  • Take a moment to appreciate them
  • Practice this appreciation of the unique gifts you bring as a leader several times a day for as long as it takes for your to feel them as nearly automatic.

These example is but one of the infinite ways you can practice being grateful. If you are looking for more ways to develop your gratitude, you can create an active gratitude journal and write with consistency on those supernumerary things you can be thankful for. One thing is for sure, just like the numerous studies show – the more you practice being grateful as a habit – the more you will see the positive things it brings to bear.

When we practice cultivating gratitude we foster new positive habits that have far reaching positive ramifications. We, as speakers or leaders can use gratitude as another powerful tool to remain positively focused on our goals in life and business. This simple practice will improve your overall happiness, well-being, sense of self-esteem — if practiced to the point where it becomes a habit. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Give it a try. What are you grateful for? Drop us a comment below or join our mailing list for more updates on public speaking and leadership.

2 thoughts on “Speaking & Leading with Gratitude”

  1. Once again you touched on gratitude in such a way that I hope it inspires others to practice it. I love the exercises mentioned here. A lot of powerful leaders have one thing in common, self love. They are able to appreciate their talents as well as accept their flaws. Today and in this moment – I am grateful for so much.

  2. Gratitude is the best! I try my best to show someone how much i care, sometimes it may be too much but it just means i care that much about you. i must also commend Joseph for all these great posts. I’ll surely come back to read more.

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