Seven Gift-Giving Ideas for Your Boss

by Jennifer Miller on December 16, 2013

in Personal Effectiveness, Team Effectiveness

gift box with red bow

Employees who bring their A-game are the best gift of all.

The gift-giving season is in full swing here in the United States, so I wrote a post for Smartblog on Leadership offering unique ideas for “gifts” that leaders can give their employees this year. Hint: there’s not a gift card or food basket on this list. Read more in 7 leadership gift-giving ideas for the workplace.

Now, it’s time to turn the tables and give suggestions for employees on the gifts they can give their leaders. I’m not talking about the pooling of money to buy your boss that infinity scarf you think she’ll like. Instead, I encourage you to think about how the way you show up at work is be the best gift of all.

Hey, leadership is a tough gig. Trust me, a decent work team leader will appreciate that you are never the Problem Child.

So your boss is a lying, back-stabbing power hungry moron? Do it anyhow. Consider it a gift to yourself. You are building resilience. Never, ever underestimate the power of perseverance.

Seven gifts to give your boss and your co-workers too!

  1. Show up, every single day, ready to contribute.
  2. Don’t whine. If something’s broken, point it out and then offer to be part of the solution.
  3. Be on time – with deadlines, for meetings, with paperwork.
  4. No gossip. Just say, “I’m not comfortable discussing this. Can we move to another topic?”
  5. When asked for feedback, if you don’t have any it’s OK. As Julie Winkle Giulioni writes, “A request for feedback is not an envelope that must be filled with something/anything just to get it off your desk.”
  6. Show gratitude. In the crush of day-to-day work life and impossibly busy schedules, it’s easy to forgo the simple courtesies. Say “thank you”, for actions both big and small.
  7. Assume positive intent until proven otherwise. It is possible that you lack all the background details; a seemingly idiotic decision by your boss may have underlying reasons that warrant the action.

What gifts are you giving at work this holiday season? If you’ve never seen your actions as gifts, I encourage you to do so. It costs nothing but a bit of attention to your daily behaviors and you never know, it may reap you untold benefits!

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