Granted, a majority of us are now done celebrating “the Holiday season” outside of toasting the new year. However, I hope you’ll take time to consider my last St. Louis Post-Dispatch column of 2016. While it focuses on “gifts”, I think its message will give anyone and everyone good perspective heading into 2017.
Below is the opening excerpt of the column.
However you may choose to celebrate the holiday season, it is essential to reflect on the joy of giving and receiving gifts.
I often marvel at how, regardless of our diverse beliefs or backgrounds, most of us participate in the ritual of hunting down the right gift for that special someone on your list — and that often includes individuals you work with day in, day out. We DO spend more time with coworkers than we do with family and friends, so it makes sense you do a little something for them, or with them, around this time of year.
Quite often for coworkers we look for items that are practical in nature or things they can use over a period of time. I’m sure you would agree buying your coworker a flat screen TV would be exceptional and rare! So what if you thought about a gift that’s less tangible? After all, it’s not too late to continue the spirit of giving after today.
Consider the following seasonally-themed ideas:
One of the greatest gifts you can give someone at work is real, authentic friendship. I’m talking about a commitment to their success rather than focusing only on what you get out of the relationship. During times of change within organizations, it’s often friendships that ultimately help you manage and navigate through hard times. We can’t be thankful enough for the people who stick with us when the going gets tough — they are the people with a heart of gold. So why not consider making someone else’s success a priority this year?
What if you decided to give everyone the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong? This alone could turn the vile scent of tension into the sweet smell of collaboration. This means focusing on resolving issues together rather than placing blame. Of course, coworkers are going to make errors in their work, but calling them out in front of others shames them and the team. Focus on creating a spirit of collaboration. Give the gift of assuming the best in others. This rare gift is a treasure to those that receive it.
Some of us need healing conversations that restore workplace relationships and a general spirit of collaboration. This is a hard one! Learning to… READ THE REST OF THE COLUMN HERE.