Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Handling the Holidays
Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season. People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like. Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc.
As a business leader, this is a decision that you will have to make for your company. Your team is going to be looking to you to see what type of character you have: Will you make a decision? Will you stand behind the decision? How will you address people’s concerns or objections to your decision? Your strength or weakness at this time will leave an impression on your team.
As you make your decision, I offer these thoughts:
- Remember what is most important. You may find that taking an opportunity to celebrate your team or your community might be more important goal than emphasizing a holiday.
- Consider your company’s values. If your company’s values are to embrace individuality and spirituality in the workplace, make sure that your holiday message reflects these values.
- Keep in mind that it is important to make a decision, and stick with it. As I mention, this is one of those character building/character assassination opportunities. Your short term decision could have a long-term impact.
- Don’t be insensitive to your team. If you choose to have a Christmas Party, and present it as such, find a way to celebrate those who do not wish to participate. Ensure that they know that they are valued members of the team.
- Don’t over-do it. Over emphasizing your beliefs or practices could prove to be disruptive and offensive. If your company chooses to celebrate Christmas, a tree might be nice. Forcing everyone to walk around in Elf and Santa costumes might be over-doing it. Your tea
- m will help you determine what is appropriate. Consider your customers.
- Involve the team in the decision-making process. If you decide to have a celebration of some sort, you’ll want to make sure that they at least have an opportunity to be involved in the decision. Word of caution: you may wish to narrow down options to several before presenting them to the team. Otherwise, you may find that they are going in many different directions.
- Don’t be afraid to give: give to your team, give to your community, give to your other stakeholders. Find ways to give memorably. At this time of year, people have expectations, whether they say it or not.
- Don’t be ashamed to receive. Some of your stakeholders will be giving to you, as well. Show your appreciation, not just for the gift or the card, but also, for the thought.
- Don’t be ashamed to wish people a Merry Christmas, Happy, Hanukah, a Happy Kwanza, Happy New Years, Happy Holidays, or whatever strikes your fancy. This is your way of showing someone that you care about them. It is like saying, “thank you for being alive and part of my life.” There will be those that don’t or cannot appreciate it.you cannot help that, and you cannot change them. Simply smile and disengage.
So, all said, I wish you a Merry Christmas season, and offer you the kindest thoughts and blessings throughout the new year. I hope that you will continue to learn and grow to create an extraordinary future for your business. May God bless you in all that you do.
Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].