How reflecting on gratitude received from family can make you a better leader

A pair of hands holding a red, ceramic heart against a teal background

Leaders who take the time to reflect on receiving gratitude from family members can enhance their leadership effectiveness in the office. (Adobe Stock)

The longstanding advice to “check your baggage at the door” may not be the best way for leaders to engage and empower their employees. Instead, acknowledging that leaders are complete individuals with experiences outside of the office is a key factor in assisting them with the challenging, exhausting and often thankless work they do daily.

According to new research from the University of Florida, leaders who reflect on gratitude that they receive from family members at home feel higher levels of prosocial impact – the perception that one is making a positive difference in the lives of others – which consequently motivates them to engage in more helpful and empowering behavior toward their employees at work.

“Perceiving that you’ve made a difference in the lives of those you love satisfies basic psychological needs which then carry over into the office by motivating you to be more helpful and empowering toward your direct reports,” noted researcher Klodiana Lanaj, Ph.D., Martin L. Schaffel Professor at the UF Warrington College of Business.

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Allison Alsup March 12, 2024