You’re making your list and checking it twice. You’re considering the Duck Dynasty bobbleheads and books as gifts to give your team. (One word: don’t.) But, instead, you’re buying gift cards by the bundle and baking up batches of your famous fudge. (That’s a super secret gift-giving equation for leaders everywhere: Cash + Chocolate = Christmas Cheer.)
For some leaders, Christmas gift giving to their teams is a source of great joy. For other leaders, it’s a source of great frustration that leaves them Scrooged. And since I would never want giving to leave you grumpy, I’m here to help. (What can I say? I’m a giver that way.)
In later posts this month, I’ll share my favorite empowering gifts that give back and my favorite books to give this year. Until then, in addition to the surefire gift-giving equation I shared above, the following are 5 Fabulous Free Gifts you can give your team this Christmas:
1. Encouragement: This gift may be wrapped in a word of thanks, a note of affirmation, or a reminder of their potential. Show your team members how much you believe in them and their abilities.
2. Clarity: It’s easy for an organization’s vision to get blurry. Be crystal clear with your team about where you are going and why. Answer any questions they may have as you paint the picture again. Get rid of the unnecessary obstacles that get in your team’s way of seeing the future they are working toward.
3. Connection: Introduce a team member to another professional in his or her area of expertise who is a few steps ahead career-wise. Help them prepare for an in-depth conversation with this person over coffee–an informational interview of sorts. This gift provides perspective and a resource for your team member and a potential mentoring relationship for both.
4. Time: In the middle of the rushed holiday season, how could your team members use the gift of time? What about extra time off for errands or their children’s holiday performances and parties? Or maybe it’s time with you or someone higher up in the organization to give an ear to their big idea. How about the space to dream, read, or create?
5. A Check Off Their Bucket Lists: Ask your team members what’s on their professional bucket lists. Consider what connections you might have to make one of their dreams a reality. It may be as simple as calling in a favor or sending an email to get the ball rolling in their direction.
What fabulous free gifts have you been given by leaders you loved?