Many of us will have walked into the office with an added spring in our step this morning. Afterall, traffic is flowing, the sun is shining and the holidays are so close, we can almost touch them. It's easy to forget that there are still 5 days left of work, thus 5 days of professional conduct and being a respectful, diligent team member.
I was speaking to a primary school principal over the weekend and asked him what the average school day looked like at this time of year. I was expecting them to be making christmas cards and watching movies, however was quickly told that students would be following the curriculum until the final day of the year, this ensured students remained respectful and focused – to give an inch this time of year, is to give a mile.
At first, I felt sorry for the kids, I remember enjoying the final days of school and making many Christmas cards for friends and families. But, I get it. Whether you are 8 or 38, there is something exciting about this time of year as we approach Christmas and our end of year holidays. If we relax too much, it is easy to forget our head…. afterall, it is the silly season
The Stresses of the Season
December can be a very stressful month for many and like all stress, as we head towards the final deadline it can easily snowball. This means there may be some vulnerable people in your office this week.
Common stresses at this time of year include
- Financial – presents, parties, holidays, food… the list goes on.
- Emotional – Christmas & New Year are often seen as family time. If you have lost family members or loved ones, or suffered a relationship breakdown; these feelings can feel magnified at this time of year.
- Deadlines – Many companies will have been working towards deadlines that should be completed this week. As you reach your deadlines, are your colleagues meeting theres?
- Exhaustion – For those colleagues who take all their leave at January, it has been a very long year. Emotions and patience can be easily tested, leaving people open to triggers.
C is for Christmas and C is for Communication
It’s the little things that count
Connect– Check in with colleagues, ask questions and listen out for any red flags. Be a listening ear if needed and if you see someone struggling with a deadline, ask if you can help. Afterall, a problem shared is a problem halves.
Include – If you see team members or colleagues on the outer, include them. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, not everyone will have holidays planned; don’t let this allow people to drift to the outer. If team members aren’t celebrating the day, don’t ignore it. Ask them what they will do that day instead? Even as adults, it can be a struggle when we are different to the norm.
Communicate – For the majority of us, if we are feeling stressed or uncomfortable we just want to talk about it. Be genuine, be interested, be patient and generally be nice. Be a listening ear and show empathy toward colleagues who might be having trouble.
Let’s all have a great final week at work and leave our post holiday January selves returning to work knowing our December selves were AWESOME.
And from all of us at Virtue Consulting, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season! We look forward to connecting with your January selves in the new year! xx