The festive season is a wonderful time of the year. I personally enjoy the fact that we have more time for one another, or should I say that we try and make more time for one another. Throughout the year we are running the rat race, towards the end of the year we are slowing down and making plans to be with family and friends. This is what is so nice about the festive season.
Our challenge really is to make Christmas about enjoying time together and not just about the gifts. Often times we get stuck in the commercial aspects of the festive season. Our children especially, and many friends and family will tell you that they forget the gifts, but remember the time spent together. They remember that we were there, we were present and the memories of time shared and stories told are remembered long after the gifts have been forgotten about. For this next week, make every effort not to focus on the gifts and rather think of it as a time to really connect with those loved ones around us.
Step 1: Be fully Present – To maximize the time and focus on being fully present. To be fully present means we must stop, look at them, listen to them and maintain our focus despite distractions (this is where mobile phones become a challenge).
Step 2: Be Curious about them: Be curious by showing a genuine interest in others and asking people about things that interest them. Questions like: What are your plans for next year, your thoughts and ideas, up-coming travel plans, what are you hoping to achieve, tell me about the gifts you got, which one was special, what is different in your life now. These are simple examples we can use to find out about the other person.
Step 3: Be Consistent: Creating trust and connecting with others is not a once off event. This means we need to practice being good listeners and encouraging others to talk about themselves. Yes, this means continuing to let them talk and take in all they have to say. No need for you to add comments or as my daughters will say: “don’t turn this into a life lesson dad just hear me out.”
The steps above provide an ongoing opportunity to know people better and understand what is important to them. You will find more common ground and develop a greater understanding of those around you. Let me know how this works for you in the comment section below.
Have a fabulous end to the year and may 2019 be the best year ever!