I love the holiday season. There is something in the air, a certain sense of goodwill and cheer. Isn’t it great when someone holds the door for you, looks you in the eye, smiles and spouts, “Merry Christmas!”? (Sidenote: If you don’t feel it, I encourage you to work in retail for a year, and I assure you the holiday season feels more cheerful than the ever-laborious Back-to-School season) That small gesture that says “I see you” and “I am trying to brighten your day” is impactful, free, and makes both the giver and receiver feel good. So why not do this for your team? There is no better time to start than the season of giving.
So put that company logo coffee mug down. I am here to guide you on four things your tribe wants this holiday season that are free (and much more impactful).
Yes, your most precious resource and your team wants it. Instead of thinking, “I don’t have any time to give,” consider what potential you could unleash by giving your team consistent time. You will be amazed what your team soaks up by being around you as a great leader, and awed by what you come to learn by listening to them. Win-win, amazement and awe.
Making a habit of gratitude can actually alter your brain chemistry and positively affect your health. So think, when is the last time you truly thanked your team for their contributions in a specific and personal fashion? To make it a habit, give “thank yous” both big (e.g. write an end-of-year thank you letter to each team member) and small (e.g. say “thank you and great job” after that impressive presentation this morning). Say “thank you” rather than “thanks” (which feels more like an obligatory post-task acknowledgement), make eye contact, and be specific when complimenting so it demonstrates that you noticed the work they did.
Without mentors, young leaders have only the internet teaching them how to grow their personal leadership skills. So who is going to run your department or the company when you move up to bigger and better things? That’s right, the person that you started mentoring now to get them ready. Take on awesome people as mentees and your time will pay you back twofold in learnings for yourself and building leaders in your organization to be ready for the bigger chairs, leaving you free to grow yourself.
Your team is craving responsibility. They want to have a serious stake in something that has impact and meaning. If you invest in giving them the tools and leadership upfront, they will happily sink their teeth into the work that you have been hoarding for yourself while feeling overwhelmed. Give them the tools, trust, and confidence that they can be in charge of something important, and they will not only succeed but grow their skills, engagement and loyalty to the organization and you as a leader.
Take these gifts and shower your team with them this Christmas and beyond in the new year. You will find the impact on your team, organization and you can be profound by giving your team what they really need this year.
Originally published at www.teamawesomecoaching.com