Yes, that’s right. It’s holiday and year-end time; a time when bloggers the world over dig deep into their creative toolboxes to write to you about (wait for it) GIFT GIVING.
Ho to the hum.
Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I am no different, dear reader. I too, am overwhelmed with family and work and presents, and so you getting what is left over, and I hope you like it any way.
The truth is, you have a lot to offer to others that has nothing to do with how much you spend, what brand you choose or where you get the best amazon deal, free shipping or black Friday special.
You have yourself. And what is in your heart. And what you can authentically extend to those around you, whether customers, co-workers, vendors, or your frenemy on the subway. So here are 5 ways that you can give the gift of YOU this holiday and any time.
Your attention. It might surprise you to know that as many as 1 in 10 people in the US claim to have ZERO close friends, or any friends at all. Can you imagine a world in which you felt that lonely? Imagine that you decided to treat just one more person that you meet as if they were a friend instead of just an acquaintance or someone that you MUST talk to. Spend the extra five minutes and make conversation. The time that you give to someone, that extra little bit, might just be the best thing about that person’s day.
Your curiosity. A great way to show someone that you care about him or her is to ask more questions. Instead of being a conversational narcissist (you can read more about this here) who is just waiting for another turn to talk and respond, be genuinely curious about the other person. Use phases like, “tell me more” or “what do you mean?” or “why was that significant for you?”
Your empathy. Defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, empathy is not a trait that you are automatically born with. This skill takes cultivation. Empathy is an invaluable tool in seeing the other side of an argument and is a great way to really get to the core of what is going on with another person. The way I describe it is that when I hear about something that has happened to someone, or even something that someone else has done, even if it seems at its core to be wrong or shocking, I ask myself, “I wonder what it’s like to be that person.” And in some small way I feel less judgmental and more open minded. It is something that takes a lot of practice and can seem difficult for a lot of people (I’m looking at you, Dad) But when you see it in action there is no question that it can help bring families and even communities closer together. Imagine what it could do for your workplace.
Your creativity. One of my favorite phrases when I am talking to someone who seems very staunch in a belief or a viewpoint is, “That is very interesting, and you seem to feel very strongly about it. Another way to look at that is _____________”. I have had many occasions where someone has reached back out to me to say that they thought about what I said, and they reconsidered, or at least softened, their stance.
Your shoulder (and ears). A great listener, especially in a time of great sorrow, can be an immense relief. Even five extra minutes with someone can make all the difference. And being a good listener often means that you say very little in response (see #2 above) Make sure that you give the speaker plenty of space and time to express him or herself and know that you are there to listen without judgement or to try to help them solve their problem (which is a much bigger challenge for some of us (AHEM)
You are a gift, in and of yourself. Share those gifts with others and you will attract people and perhaps even be sought out more often because of the way you make others feel.
Happy Holidays to all those who celebrate. I truly hope you enjoy yourself this month and are ready to get out there and kick 2019’s BUTT!
As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.
Listen to Kelly’s Podcasts From The Printerverse: Achieving Success In Print and Sales with Kelly Mallozzi / Strategies for Sales Success with Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi
Check out her book, co-authored by Bill Farquharson: Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How?