Certainly when it comes to what I’ve really been thinking, there is no doubt that “holiday cards” are on my mind! It has actually become somewhat funny. I have a bit of an assembly line going with Outlook updates (it makes no sense to send cards to old addresses or to miss new clients!), envelopes, stamps (both domestic and international), adding a personal note, and for a few groups, inserting a relevant brochure or letter. And my mom’s envelopes were thrown in for good measure to lend a helping hand.
There have definitely been days (even before I started) when I wondered whether it is worth it. What I have always thought is if I couldn’t personalize the card, I wouldn’t send it. With that said, I think there is something to be said for the personal touch so I carry on! Who doesn’t appreciate the personal touch? I often find myself at Olive Garden for lunch, sitting at the bar and working on my laptop. They usually bring my order without me saying a word. The other day, the manager bought my lunch and just had the server tell me it was taken care of. Nice personal touch! Do you add a personal touch now and then?
One tip to implement this week:
It is quite easy to add a personal touch. It isn’t common or expected and it isn’t rocket science. Think about one of your colleagues. What does he/she appreciate? Do NOT think about what you would like if you were this colleague. It is unlikely to be the same answer. I learned that lesson quite a long time ago when I was a VP of Operations. I couldn’t understand why a direct report would do the things she was doing. It made no sense to me. If I asked, she answered 100% opposite of what was happening but believed what she said. It turns out that my best friend helped me understand what no business book could – this person had a different reality and saw things in her version of reality. If I wanted to provide a personal touch in her case, I’d have to transform my thinking into her reality.
Fast forward to earlier this year…. I had to laugh because I took a test for a train-the-trainer class, and my answers (to what turned out to be a personality test of how I like to work) came out very different from my preferences. No one told me to answer the test for me. I answered the questions how I assume most clients would prefer! Strangely, the other consultant in the room did the same thing! Go Valerie!
The good news is ….it isn’t typically that hard. People are happy to tell you what is important to them and it is easy to pick it up on it by what they do and say. For example, if one of your employees values task completion and hard work, don’t recognize them by giving them time off. Instead, recognize the significant accomplishment with a specific comment that shows you understand what was required to achieve it.