Here are three gifts you can give any time of year regardless of the size of your circle of family, friends, and business associates and no matter what your income level:
1. The gift of time
Give up some of your time to help others. Volunteer for a good cause. Pitch in to complete projects. Sit and listen, especially to those who are sad or lonely. If you are a business owner, create a system where employees can donate vacation days to help a fellow employee who is caring for a critically ill family member and has no leave left.
2. The gift of encouragement
Be slow to find fault and quick to offer praise. Find the good in others and let them know you’ve noticed. Write notes of affirmation. Text your support. Say good things to their faces and behind their backs. Don’t wait for the annual review to compliment your employees.
3. The gift of choices
Everyone likes to think their opinion matters so stop making unilateral decisions for others, especially those who consider themselves your family and friends. Offer options (yes, even to a two year old—just choose those possibilities wisely). Encourage discussion. Invite feedback. Honestly consider how your decisions affect others. Involve your employees in the process of making your company a better, more profitable place to work.
Who on your list will benefit from one of these gifts?