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The 3 Best Things to Take to the Holiday Parties

As many of us prepare to join family and friends at the upcoming holiday parties and family gatherings, I’d like to offer what I think are the three best items to take with you.  

Gratitude for our diverse Superpowers: We all have a unique way in which we participate in the world. We come with ‘superpowers’ – those soft skills that we bring to any team, whether at work or at home. The great thing is we are all different. Diverse. We can solve problems in different ways. We can be creative in different ways. We can be human in different ways. Don’t leave your leadership and teamwork training at work! Take it home to your family and to the family parties with all of your crazy relatives. Search for each person’s superpower and share that with them. It’s a gift. Not everyone can notice their own superpower. (Check out https://superpowers.sypartners.com/cards for the digital version of the Superpower cards.) 

Curiosity: Even if you hate the white elephant gift-giving, or the fudge made by grandma, or the piano recital by your niece, you can find heart-warming joy by making it your mission to be curious. What’s your passion-project this year? What is the greatest goal you met this past year? What’s the next book on your reading list? Who’s the most interesting person you met this year, and what did you learn from them? What’s been your biggest challenge, and is there any way I can help? (Here’s 15 more questions…) Be curious. Avoid judgments. Remember that you are there to learn, not to score or judge. Give no advice. Listen deeply. Listen for motivations, frustrations, fears. Practice empathy. Practice increasing your EQ. Listen with your soul and your heart. Your attention and understanding is the greatest gift you can give anyone.

Grace: We all have flaws. None of us is perfect. And most of us screw up throughout life. As you chat at the holiday parties, business and personal, remember to listen with grace to the stories of others. Listen for motivation. Listen for understanding. Listen for learning – what did they learn from their mistakes. And what can you learn from it. We love telling stories to the bartender because he doesn’t judge. He accepts us as the flawed person we are, just there to share a story. And be brave enough to share a story or two of your own. Laugh together at the similarities. If you feel the group will need props to tell stories, consider getting some story cubes! Legos are another great storytelling prop. We learn best within stories. Storytelling is the ‘heart’ of the facts. We live and learn as humans through conversation. Be graceful in listening and humble in telling.

Mistakes are a part of the dues one pays for a full life.

Sophia Loren

Enjoy the parties. Enjoy your crazy relatives. Learn something new about your co-workers.

What other items will YOU take to your holiday parties?

Published by Thene Sheehy

Living & Working in Northern Portugal