December is here and the holidays are fast approaching. As we move into this happy and festive season, we want to do all we can to eliminate the stress and difficulties that can often accompany this time of year.
The same skills we look to develop in creating our 21st century workforce, can go along way in ensuring a fulfilling holiday season.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind.
1. Control your emotions
In the stressful and hectic nature of the holiday season, it is very easy to allow our emotions to get the best of us. In all the interactions we have with others, whether they be family members, friends, colleagues or a salesperson when you are doing your shopping, we must remember the fundamental rule: we must be aware of and control our emotions before we can limit the emotional reactions of others.
To do this, remember, awareness allows for choice. The first step is to notice when you start to go into an automatic reaction, the moment you become aware of this, you then have a choice to shift into a new attitude or mindset for the holidays. You could even select a mindset in advance that you want to adopt for the holiday season.
2. Manage the emotions of others
Once we have our emotions in check, it is useful during these times, to have a strategy for working with the emotions of others. To minimise the emotional reaction of others, the 3 principles to follow are 1. Be careful what you say and choose your words carefully – you can say the same thing in 2 different ways and the message will be received very differently.
When selecting your words think from the point of view of the person receiving the message as opposed to the one sending the message. Be aware of how you are delivering communication – the non-verbal component (tone and body language)will have a much bigger impact than just the words.
Create of context for your interactions. Pick a common ground that you can use as a starting point of agreement for you conversations.
3. Create a vision
One of the great attributes of successful leaders is the ability to create a future that others get excited by and are engaged in the fulfilment of. We can do the same with those who we spend the holidays. Have a conversation about what everyone would like this holiday season and then agree on a plan that can fulfil on those expectations. And it’s also better to reset the expectations early rather than later if they aren’t going to be met.
4. Apply time management
These days, time management is no longer about getting it all done. Our inboxes follow us around 24/7, so time management is now about getting a handle on everything that there is to do and recognising based on Steven Covey’s definition of prioritising (urgency vs importance), what we will do, when we will do it, as well as what we won’t be doing or getting done.
Once you are clear on what you will be doing, get it scheduled into your calendar with a start time, duration and an ending time. When you are clear on what you won’t be doing, let anyone know who is relying upon you for it and be responsible about it.
5. Be an anticipator
Be proactive and plan ahead for your holiday preparations! There is a very different experience that awaits you when you have thought everything through and you can eliminate any concerns about when things are going to get done!
Lou Markstrom is the co-author of Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business, and Technology Together, published by Wiley as part of its CIO series. Over the past 25 years, he has worked with over 35,000 people to create high performance organisations, teams and individuals.
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