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Seasoning Our Behavior

holidayStressWhen it comes to adding spice or seasoning our food, we all have different tastes. Some like it hot, some like it mild. When it comes to how we behave during festive times, we all have different behaviors. Some of us really join the party and others watch the party goers in amusement. These are just some of the differences that make life interesting. How is it we manage to get along? Somehow I think awareness and respect help us along. For many people living in the United States last week marked the kick-off of the holiday season. And the workplace during this time of year can be very interesting indeed.

With the same responsibilities and deadlines we now have: additional family obligations, additional financial pressures, social obligations and the resulting stomachs, headaches and fatigue.  Guess what? Sometimes holidays come with stress.

Hey, what a downer, should we just cancel the holidays this year? No – of course not. This absolutely can be a time of tremendous joy. And even if these are not the holidays, you celebrate; the spirit around you can be positively infectious.

Now the timing of this article may be specific to a culture and location, but the concept is not. As we reach out across the globe we learn about different traditions and beliefs. We may celebrate on different days for different reasons, but we share very human responses to our holiday seasons.

One way to enjoy any holiday season is to be aware of the pressure that comes with the partying. Another tip is to respect the effect of holidays on other people. Maybe YOU are the exact same person during this time, but perhaps some of your team members are not.

Just a few things to consider:

  • Some team members may be less productive during this time of year. Many individuals take their vacations during the holiday season. Others are distracted by obligations and celebrations.
  • Some team members are more productive because they want to complete their to-do list by the end of the year.
  • Some people greet the holidays eagerly, others are eager for the holidays to end.
  • If you work on a global team, do you know which holidays you share and which you do not? For example, if you have an office in Taiwan, do you know when they celebrate Teacher’s day? Will the office be open on this day?

Even those who celebrate the same holiday may do so very differently. Let’s consider Thanksgiving in the United States. You may assume that everyone in the United States has turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but some families would much rather eat ham or lasagna or tamales.

Does this mean we all must become experts about holidays and traditions across the planet? Only if you have a sincere interest.  What it does call for is awareness and respect.  Be aware of others and respect their beliefs and traditions. Awareness and respect, these are two words that will carry you through any holiday season.

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