Many people get time off this time of year. Between Advent, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Soya Luna, Dong Zhi, Boxing Day, Omisoka, and others I’ve left out, we should all get some days off in December. Are you going to make the most of them?
I know, I’m making it sound like work, which is what you’re trying to get away from, but bear with me on this for a few paragraphs.
The holidays are an excellent excuse to develop one of the most important skills you can have – social. Happiness in life, to a large degree, comes from good relationships with other people, in your family and personal life, as well as at your work. The work on emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman and others suggests that your social skills will have more of an impact on your success than your intellectual ability, education, and experience combined. How are your social skills?
Fortunately, social skills are both learned and learnable. Some of us come to them more naturally than others due to our personality types, but there is much to be said for how we were brought up as well. If you had a parent who was naturally the “life of the party,” you either embraced their talent and easily mix with others, or you shied away from social situations and feel uncomfortable even today among family, friends, and peers.
While there are many points I could make about social skills, the biggest mistake I see people make in social settings is that they get too wrapped up in themselves. No one joins a pity party, so never start a conversation with everything wrong that’s happened to you over the past year.
Instead, be interested, not interesting. Ask questions. How’s your spouse? How old are your children now? What colleges are they pursuing? Be on the lookout for ways you can genuinely help someone else. Maybe one of your employees’ teenagers is trying to get into an internship program and the person making the decision is in another one of your social groups. A “good word” from you just might be the spark that establishes a win-win for both parties and makes you look like a hero.
Of course at some point you’ll need to share a few things about yourself, and without being untruthful, describe your life in the best light possible. Expressing an attitude of, “I lost my job in October due to cutbacks in my company, so I’ve had a lot of time to research myself and my talents and I am eagerly awaiting the next opportunity,” will inspire others to help you in whatever way they can, while an attitude of, “I got canned and I’m waiting for MY government bailout,” will make others want to “move on.”
Spend quality and quantity time with your immediate family. Create memories. Plan vacations and local outings that everyone will enjoy. Most importantly, let your intention be to have fun, then relax and let it happen.
When you dedicate yourself to creating and maintaining a wonderful personal life, the quality of every other area of your life will improve. You will be happier, healthier, more rested, relaxed, and productive. You will experience greater happiness and satisfaction at home, and you will be far more effective and capable when you go back to work.
Have an inspirational holiday!
Until next time,
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This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on December 16, 2008