Tis the Season!

December 24, 2014

Tis the season, to be jolly…or at least that’s what the song says.  This is the time of year ripe for many emotions.  Some are filled with good tidings and cheer; some go through seasonal depression; and some are filled with “bah, humbug!”  No matter where you fall along this spectrum, here are some tidbits to be mindful of during this holiday season.

  1. Consideration.  It’s not easy to always tell what someone is going through, but everyone can always use a measure of consideration.  This is a good time to spread some holiday cheer and do something nice for someone you don’t know.  Every once in a while you’ll hear of a Secret Santa story, whether it’s the Kansas City officers handing out $100 bills to unsuspecting drivers, or random acts of kindness where a stranger pays for the groceries of the shopper behind them in line (who in turn “pays it forward”). An act of kindness doesn’t have to be of that particular magnitude; sometimes all a person needs is a smile and a “hi, how are you” – just enough to know that someone actually cared to acknowledge them.  Consideration for others is one of the best gifts you can give.
  2. Respect.  While you’re in the mood to “consider” others, take the time to remember those who provide many services throughout the year.  Think of it as a sign of respect and gratitude for all that they do, and recognition of the fact that sometimes their jobs can seem to be thankless.  An extra tip or a “thinking of you” gift can go a long way: in the short term it can be a cheerful pick-me-up while in the long term it may be the kind of gesture that plants a seed for strengthening a relationship.  Click here for a recent article that can assist with tipping and giving to those in service professions.  If you think it’s too late to undertake such a task in the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving can be a 365-day activity.  Why not surprise someone in the new year and help them kick off 2015 with some positive cheer!
  3. Honesty. It’s about that time to do some honest reflecting.  How has your 2014 been thus far?  Any room for self-improvement in 2015?  (Hint: there’s always room for improvement.)  What can you do to build and strengthen relationships?  Could you benefit from trying (just a little more) to understand the perspective of others?   What does your personal brand say about you?  Are your efforts bearing good fruit?  Is your network fueling or depleting you?  These are just a few questions to get that honest reflection started.  Now is the time – no need to wait to January 1 – to determine what will 2015 look like for you!