Although the holidays are typically a season of warm spirits and great joy, they are often flooded with overcommitment and a relentless rush of busyness. However, when we’re able to shift our mindset from an attitude of ‘me’ to ‘we’, we can ultimately lead with grace and experience the holidays like never before.
In a previous blog post, I talked about how leading with the grace starts with leading with the heart, mind and respect for the individual. So how can we use that same idea during the holidays? Here’s how.
Leading with the heart starts by stepping away from the commercialization of the holiday season and getting back to the heart of what really matters. The people you spend the holidays with are the friends and family who carry you through every other season of life. It’s important to take the time to recognize that and not get caught up in the frivolous side of things such as extravagant gifts or the perfectly decorated home. Instead, focus on giving of yourself more openly recognizing that this way of giving is much more valuable than that of material things.
Action Step: Between now and New Year’s, pick up the phone (don’t text!) and tell someone how grateful you are for them and why. Share with them the things that you think make them exceptionally unique and special to you. You can also do this in person if you’re spending 1:1 time with them.
I’ll admit, leading with the mind is often my greatest challenge out of the three. Leading with the mind is about really being present and in tune with your surroundings. However, this is easier said than done considering the plethora of distractions that often crowd our minds. After all, December and January are the most pivotal months of the year where budgets are being finalized and strategic planning is in full swing. We’re often so consumed with work that it makes us busier, not better. This is why it can be next to impossible to turn off your work switch and tune into life and family. However, being in the right frame of mind is essential to leading with grace during the holidays. When we decide to be fully present in the moment enjoying the specialness of the season, we are living at our fullest.
Action Step: Prior to your next holiday experience, be sure to actually mark time on your calendar for when you will be fully present with your loved ones. This forces you to specifically set aside the one thing your loved ones want most – your time. It also helps prevent the other mental distractions that can cloud your thinking.
Respect is demonstrated at its best when you show simple acts of kindness. This starts with engaging with others in a way that makes them feel truly valued. It’s easy to write off a family member or friend simply because of their viewpoint or how they might react or behave in certain situations. However, if you can show respect in the heat of the moment you can lead with grace in a powerful way.
Action Step: Take an extra moment to be aware of the many blessings you have and have been given. The next time you find yourself in a moment of tension whether it’s between you or others, take a quick moment to mentally step away from the situation and show kindness. You will find that this way of showing respect by simply listening is one of the best ways to show you care.
I hope this post inspires you to lead with grace this holiday season. More importantly, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!