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Teach: Gratitude Tools

The tools on this page can be adapted to teach gratitude, appreciation or thankfulness.
• If you would like to request those tools which were created by the Project on Positive Leadership, please click here.
• Please tell our community about how you use these tools and ask people for advice about how they use the tools on our LinkedIn groups page.
• If you have tools that you like to use when teaching accountability, and you are willing to share them with us, please let us know by sending a message to ppl@louisville.edu.


Indifference, Gratitude, and Obsequiousness Stories

  • Author: Ryan Quinn
  • Date: 2020
  • Series: Virtues and Vices
  • Pages: 5
  • Summary: This tool is one of the tools that makes up the Project on Positive Leadership’s “Virtues and Vices” series of instructional tools. It contains four stories of gratitude, indifference, or obsequiousness. A tool with multiple stories enables students to examine what is required to exhibit ideal gratitude across different settings, and to account for the differing perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Each story includes carefully-crafted reflection questions to provoke the students’ learning, to prepare them for class, to prepare themselves to practice gratitude, and to motivate them to be more mindful about their approach to leadership.

Gratitude Journal

  • Activity
    • Price: Free
    • By Scott Reed, Virginia Welle, and Randy Ernst
    • American Psychological Association
    • Copyright 2020
  • Summary: There is an impressive amount of research to support the power of keeping a gratitude journal. This website gives a lesson plan for teaching gratitude to high school students, but it is easily adapted for executive or university students, and the underlying principles are the same. If taught as part of a leadership course, it is also important to make the ties back to leadership as part of the lesson.

The Little Things that Make Employees Feel Appreciated

  • Article
    • Price: $4.25
    • By Kerry Roberts Gibson, Kate O’Leary, and Joseph Weintraub
    • Harvard Business Review
    • January 23, 2020
  • Summary: This is a useful reading to couple with gratitude activities because it covers the basics so well. Managers should read this even if they are not in a class or practicing their leadership.
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