“I Don’t Like My Christmas Present”

I don't like my Christmas presentI feel like I learned something about getting the most out of employees from my sister-in-law this Christmas. Here’s how.

So, we’re in the process of hiring employees for our business to help lighten some of the heavy workload and we’ve had, it seems like, hundreds of discussions on how the process should work, what type of person would be the right fit, what attributes are we looking for, and how will we manage them once they are on board. One I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how to manage new employees. I’ve wondered how I would teach them our processes, help inspire them to do good work, and how to let them know, in a positive way, when they’ve done something wrong or not the way we need it to be done.

On Christmas day, My sister-in-law got a backpack for Christmas. This was something that she wanted, however, you could tell immediately that she didn’t like something about it. Usually, at Christmas, a gracious recipient would say something like, “oh I love it, thank you so much.” Even though deep inside they absolutely hate it and want to exchange it for a different color. Well, Tessa doesn’t roll that way. She feels too bad about lying that, when asked if she liked it, she said… almost crying, “I… don’t like it. I’m sorry.”

I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. Then I thought about it. She was just being honest. She new what she wanted and THAT wasn’t it. It’s easy enough to exchange the backpack for the one she really wanted. By lying, she has to live with something she never wanted and it will be painful everyday she has to leave for school. Since she was honest, she only endures a few moments of awkward silence on Christmas morning, and the next day she gets to exchange it for what she wants.

So what does this have to do with employees and or friends/relationships for that matter. It has everything to do with it because, by being honest, progress is made faster. When an employee does something you don’t like, better to let them know, lovingly and kindly, than to fake like it’s okay and then be upset with them day after day as they continue to do things the wrong way. Then, after letting them know you don’t agree, offer a better alternative without (and this is sometimes the hard part) sounding “stand-offish” or accusing.

A few moments of slight awkwardness is always better than a prolonged period of digression. How do you deal with your friends, employees, classmates when they do things that you don’t agree with?

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One Response to “I Don’t Like My Christmas Present”

  1. Nancy Crouch says:

    Im taking the pack pack with me to San Fransisco! I love it!

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