Are you at a loss this season? Feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to get that hard-to-buy-for person? Put your wallet away. You won’t be needing it for these suggestions.
You show what you value by how you spend your resources … and the most valuable of these resources is your time.
That’s it. That’s the secret — give your time. Take a moment to communicate and make a difference in someone else’s life. It’s a small action that can have the greatest impact. Giving your time is, in my opinion, the most significant way you show you care and support.
Of course, gifting begins with cherished family and friends. Think beyond the home and stretch it to the workplace — giving doesn’t have to be restricted to blood relatives and besties. Dedicating just a moment of your time to employees, clients, colleagues and bosses can go miles in building relationships and increasing morale. It’s a wonderful way to honor people who have helped you and show them that they are appreciated.
Here are some ways you can share your gift of time:
Write a personal thank you note.
In this day and age of technology, a hand-written note stands out. It’s deeply personal and shows that you took time to write it. Send one to a valued team member, client, colleague or your boss. Let him or her know how their actions contributed to your organization’s goals, team spirit or productivity. Be specific and authentic. Make it real.
Give your word (and a handmade coupon).
Promise to do something for someone that will give them time — pick up a coffee, run an errand or do that photocopying they hate to do. If it’s for a family member with kids, offer to babysit, clean their home, or cook a meal. Anything that saves them time will be appreciated.
Be an elf and do a menial task.
Before someone asks, get on that chore no one seems to want to do. Lunch room fridge dirty? Clean it up during your lunch break. Someone left the boardroom a mess? Ditch those papers on the table and tidy it up. Even if no one sees you doing it, you know you did. At home, initiate the laundry, wash the car, do up those dirty dishes. Now, that’s romantic! ;o)
Lots of charities are hungry for help this time of year. Giving a few hours of your time is a gesture that captures the true spirit of the season and can help whatever cause speaks to your heart. When you give to others, you often get much more in return.
Pop by an office to say hi.
In the hub bub of work life, you may not find the time to ask a colleague how they’re doing. What are their holiday plans? How’s the kids? What’s happening with that project they’ve been working on? Showing interest in someone’s personal or professional life costs nothing and builds relationships.
Give a referral.
For biz colleagues or suppliers who have wowed you, there is no greater way to express your thanks than by connecting them to a colleague who is likely to use their services. The bonus? It’s also a nice thing to do for your colleagues receiving the supplier contact info as they will trust a recommendation from someone they know, and it saves them time looking for suppliers.
Share a tip.
When you find a useful article, piece of information, or a bargain or deal, share that info with colleagues. For example, if you enjoy this e-newsletter, invite your colleagues to sign up at www.MarionSpeaks.com (By the way, that’s also a way to communicate to me that you value my expertise — so thanks in advance for sharing!)
Nothing lights up a person’s day than to hear the voice of someone they enjoy and haven’t heard from in a while. Sometimes I receive comments from you about my e-newsletter or when you’ve attended one of my sessions and email me. Quite often I’ll pick up the phone and call you directly to say thanks. I can practically hear the thump on the other end of the line when you fall over in surprise. This call is a gift to both of us. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
Take a moment to authentically acknowledge the people in your life and let them know it. You might think about how grateful you are, but do you actually tell the other person? If not, saying thanks is a wonderful gift to give.
On that final note, allow me to say a big THANKS to YOU.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy communicating with you, sharing my tips and articles, presenting sessions to your teams, and speaking at your conferences. If you have ever taken the time to email me personally, please know that your comments are received with great interest and I read and consider the suggestions and input in each and every one.
If you’ve ever offered feedback about my work and how I’ve helped you, your words mean a great deal. In fact, many times, the comments I receive humble me. When I ask what makes me unique and different from other presenters, resoundingly you tell me it was the real life and relevant examples I use to drive learning points home. You say you enjoy this e-newsletter, its contents and conversational tone. You say you enjoy my authenticity, speaking from experience, and walking my talk. You value my ability to laugh at my own mistakes, then step back and share the lessons learned with you. For these and all your comments, thank you.
Your words gave me a gift. I had no idea that my words impacted so many of you so deeply and I wouldn’t know if you didn’t give your priceless gift of feedback.
If you’re at a loss for gift ideas this holiday season, get inspired by the list above.
Then, think of this moment and the power of your words. Look at how they have impacted me — they can impact others too. Your words cost you nothing to give and are priceless to receive.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays to you and yours. Here’s to a new year of priceless communications.
Until next time, here’s to …
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
Recipient of APEX “Award for Leadership in Service Innovation”
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Communication consultant, author, professional speaker Marion Grobb Finkelstein teaches individuals and organizations across Canada how to improve morale, confidence and productivity by changing how they communicate. Chat with her at www.facebook.com/MarionSpeaks or
www.linkedin.com/in/marionspeaks and sign up for her FREE “Marion’s Communication Tips” at www.MarionSpeaks.com
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