What gift will you give this year?
We are one week away from the craziest retail shopping day of the year that we call "Black Friday." I remember getting up at 3 a.m., getting dressed for the cold November winter weather in central Illinois, and heading out to stand in long lines with the hopes of getting that perfect gift for my loved ones. A perfect gift at very discounted prices nonetheless. Little did I know that those gifts, despite being a steal at $19.99, were not the gifts my loved ones really wanted.
What are the gifts you are planning on giving to your team this year? A turkey? A ham? Or maybe a gift card to a local favorite retail establishment? All of these are nice and I have no doubt that most of your team members would appreciate them. But you can add to these gifts with giving a little something extra. Something that will not impact your wallet or budget, but one that will dramatically impact the quality of your relationships and uplift your team.
You can give them the gift of your attention. You can be there for them. Listen to them. Meet with them. Get to know them. Learn their stories. Spend time with them.
You can give them the gift of your appreciation. Truly and earnestly let them know how much you appreciate them as a person, as a team member, and as a fellow leader. Thank them for their contributions. Identify their talents and strengths and share with them how much you appreciate their contributions.
There are so many gifts you can give to your team this year that you will not find at the 5 a.m. sale. Give them the gift of name, the gift of a smile, the gift of praise, the gift of gratitude, the gift a genuine smile, the gift of a belly laugh.
They great thing is these gifts are just like the infamous "Jelly of the Month Club" that Clark Griswold received as his Christmas Bonus in one of my favorite Christmas movies. These gifts are gifts that keep on giving the whole year round. More importantly you can give them out throughout the year and you do not need to wrap them up in fancy paper or put a bow on it.