Christmas and goodwill

Richard Denny explains how to make the most of the positive energy surrounding the festive season, in order to achieve your business goals at, what is often, the busiest time of the year.

This is often called the season of goodwill, I suppose because people make a special effort to be nice to their friends and family. People in business also make a special attempt to be nice to their customers. They seem to do this with cards and gifts though these days gifts have become somewhat curtailed due to the bribery act. This season of goodwill is really a Christian festival, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the goodwill and presents originate from The Three Kings (Wise Men) who visited shortly after the birth with their presents.

One doesn’t have to be a Christian to be part of the season of goodwill; it’s actually a great opportunity to overhaul our values and relationships with others. Apparently the New Year is bonanza time for divorce lawyers, in many instances the pressures of people spending more time together than usual creates conflict and unhappiness, coupled with the pressure of dashed expectations.

This season of goodwill is sold to us on the basis that happiness will be fulfilled with excess food and drink and loads of presents. I really don’t want to sound too disparaging, but simply to create a little balance. So, here are a few tips to really have a season of goodwill and an opportunity to deserve to keep your customers, your husband/wife and respect from your children.

1) Christmas cards. Every Christmas card you send to your customers should be personalised with a few thoughts. A thank you for business in the past year and possibly some thoughts about the future. Christmas cards without personalisation and/or numerous signatures demonstrate the opposite of a caring and goodwill culture.

2) Look for the opportunities to make your customers happy. Try and find something you do not have to do, an act of kindness, an introduction to a possible customer for them. This is the season for giving not for taking.

3) Catch your staff doing something right and look for the opportunity to give praise and best of all a thank-you. More is achieved by showing appreciation than almost any other human interaction. If you want great relationships a thank-you and appreciation will do just that and if you are going to do that in the work environment how about practicing it in the home environment as well?

4) Respect is earned and should not be expected, whether within the family, with employees or customers. Are you leading by example? Are you practicing what you preach? Are you a safe pair of hands? Can you be relied upon to do what say you will do? Can you really be trusted? These are great overhaul questions to ask yourself.

5) Finally for you – now is the time to revisit your goals and to motivate yourself. Just accept that to be happy one of the major ingredients is to have something to look forward to doing, having or achieving.

You must have goals whatever age you are and don’t ever expect, hope or demand that somebody else will make you happy, too many relationships get ruined because of expectations that get dashed here. You know how your own happiness increases when you make someone else happy, so this is the time to practice that activity in this season of goodwill.