The holidays are upon us – and with them, the stress of finding that perfect gift for our families, friends, colleagues and employees. Advertising comes at us from all angles and we wonder what each person on our list might cherish or find useful. I’d like to suggest a daring plan that can satisfy all those important people in your life – and save you hours at the mall. Because, what most people really want in life is to be seen – really seen for who they are, the impacts they make, and the importance they have in our lives. Unfortunately, we live in a busy world. Our minds overflow with concerns and the minutes and hours of our days fly by at an astonishing pace. This leaves little time to really notice who other people are or to appreciate them for these qualities.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, a colleague, an employee, a child, or anyone else in your life, take a moment to acknowledge them for who they are.
Did a colleague cover for you when you needed to attend to a family matter? That was kindness in action. Did an employee admit making a mistake, even when he could have swept it under the rug? That took courage and integrity. How about a child who took it upon herself to clean her room? Impressive responsibility!
In dealing with patients, a simple acknowledgement of their effort and dedication to their good health in bringing down their blood sugar, wearing compression stockings, or exercising regularly means so much and goes a long way towards building partnership and trust.
In the middle of this holiday season, when we are bombarded by messages about all those “things” that we can buy for the special people in our lives, consider giving something that will live on long past the time when the coffeemaker breaks down, the sweater is no longer in fashion, or the movie tickets have been used. If you feel the need to present a tangible object, a note to your kind colleague might mean more than a wallet, book, or other gift. Or you might find something that represents the quality that you admire in the person. A heart-shaped paperweight for the courageous employee would serve to remind him that you appreciate that value and might help to encourage more honest courage in the future. After all, the word “courage” comes from the Latin root, cor, which means heart. An opportunity to accompany you on a trip or to attend an important event might demonstrate the value of the responsibility shown by your child with the clean room.
Acknowledgement – a simple and profound gift that comes from the heart and shows someone that you value who they are and what they mean to you.