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work giftChristmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa – however you 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 make sense that 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 that 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 be brave and address the differences or disputes with a coworker isn’t easy. It might take several conversations. But if you start with the same goal in mind, then you can have a foundation to build upon. Validating each other’s feelings and learning to agree to disagree without judgement will go a long way in healing broken, ineffective workplace relationships. So consider giving the gift of healing conversation.

So what will you give your coworkers in this coming year – Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh? Let’s continue in the spirit of giving throughout the year. After all, most of the cheeriest gifts are not tangible, but intangible.