The silly season – time to reflect, unwind and recharge your batteries
For some, the onset of December spells Christmas celebrations, summer holidays, catching up with friends and festive cheer. It also represents the end of the calendar year and is literally the end of a cycle. We don't do end of cycles well, me thinks, and it is critical that we do.
The demands of work are unrelenting and our bodies and businesses need to recharge over a holiday season before starting the new year afresh. Our staff too.
The end of the calendar year is a great time to still your mind, reassess what is important to you and reflect on the year that was. Don't be too impatient to start planning your new year just yet. Celebrate and acknowledge your wins, hurdles overcome, mistakes made and things accomplished. There is a whole genre of leadership based around appreciation and celebration, best captured with the phrase "catch people doing things right". It is also a wonderful model for positive parenting.
There is something that you can incorporate in your festive celebrations this year and it goes beyond gift giving and the old Kris Kringle. Express your acknowledgement of your staff's contribution by creating awards and giving specific examples of behaviour, decisions, actions that you endorse. The more specific you can be the more real the feedback is as well. Ideally, you do this through the year on an informal basis as close as possible to when the event occurs but for the sake of this thread take the opportunity to share positive acknowledgement at your end of year gatherings.
One of the most powerful things I introduced in my coaching sessions was to model the giving and receiving of acknowledgements. At the conclusion of the session I would acknowledge three things about the client, three things about myself and then swap roles. It was/is a wonderful methodology to practise. Focus on observable behaviours rather than character assessments. As a behaviour is exhibited at a point in a time you can catch it and acknowledge it. Behaviour is not character. You DO behaviours, you ARE characters.
Try these things:
- Encourage peer sharing – invite your staff to share an observable behaviour that wish to acknowledge in a peer worker. When you remove yourself from the dynamic, power and authority ceases to play a role.
- Model the way – if this is all too new then you would be well served to demonstrate to your staff by going first.
- Set the context – when you introduce change, including these techniques, state upfront that you are going to try something new. The festive season is about getting into the spirit and sharing a new framework of positive encouragement is also about embracing the spirit of trying something new and uplifting.
Dennis Roberts helps small business owner/operators start, run and grow their business from conception to exit. He is available for strategic advice, business planning, one-on-one coaching/mentoring, advisory board, interim management and facilitation.