Unleashing the full capacity of your people

Three Great Holiday Leadership Habits to Adopt

Capture the joy of the holidays

I confess that this “holiday advice” is actually great advice year-round. But it is especially true for the end-of-year Holiday Season, when good cheer is abundant, and people relax a bit. This more relaxed environment is a great time to test more engaging relationship-building habits with co-workers, whether subordinates, peers or bosses.

To keep the challenge manageable, here are three specific behavior sets you can work on over the next two weeks. Use this practice to set yourself up to make even more progress when you inject these new habits into your interpersonal dealings in January.

1. Find successes to celebrate.

Everyone is mentally wrapping up the year in December. Even if your company is on a different fiscal calendar, the turning of the calendar from one year to the next creates a natural break that motivates us to take stock and restart with fresh energy in January.

Leverage this opening to find successes to celebrate together. Even if your group had a tough year, you worked together to accomplish a number of goals, you created value, you delivered services. Pick those wins out and give them plenty of attention!

2. Leave plenty of time for celebration.

People are naturally ready to celebrate during the Holidays. Focus the celebrations on the successes you have identified, personally as a co-worker, and as a team. Individual could have made great strides in gaining new technical skills, some may have earned promotions. Others may have learned how to work with others better, and are contributing at a higher level than 12 months ago. Recognize all of this!

3. Monitor and enforce time off rules.

Build Leadership Skill and HabitsWe have covered this topic many times in the past. Your people and you need to take all the time off coming to you. Rested, recharged people make better employees. They work smarter, making fewer errors in judgment and execution. They are more engaged and creative. Grab that competitive advantage by enforcing time-off rules. During the balance of December, make a point of pushing people out the door on time, give them half-days for personal errands, and check their vacation balances to see if there are days you can recommend they take. And you must model balanced behavior. People feel better leaving early if you do it occasionally, too.

Treat yourself well, too. If you keep staying late every day in December, so will those trying to impress you.

  1. Don’t stay so late.
  2. Watch carefully to make sure people do take the time off you agreed they could take.
  3. Ask them how they spent their time.
  4. Be genuinely interested in what they did.
  5. Share what you did with your time off in response. Make it a real conversation!

Holiday SchedulingIn conclusion, let me repeat the introduction. These leadership behavior sets are great year-round engagement and productivity builders. Practicing them in December, when your people are more open to such shifts in leadership habits, is a great time to see how well they work, and learn lessons to help you build on these new habits in 2018.

Are you ready to give these ideas a shot? Call Brooke or Dave for ideas about how best to start, and have them talk you into it!

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