“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Marcel Proust


Christmas is a time foiStock_000018483076Smallr gift-giving and positive feedback is the best free gift around. Everyone likes to be appreciated. Not only is it good for our self-esteem to be told when we have done something well but it is also great learning. This is especially true if we can begin to understand exactly what we did and how we did it. In this way, when faced with the same or similar challenge in the future, we can call on our positive past experience, reproduce the behaviour and be more sure of achieving the same great result.

Offer positive feedback or just say something nice

At work, people are usually very quick to criticise and complain. Surprise your colleagues, direct reports and even your boss by thinking of something they have done well and that you appreciated. Remind them of the situation or the task, describe their actions and the positive result. Thank them and not only will they be grateful, there is a good chance that they will do it again!

At home or with friends, it can be too easy to focus on negatives. Instead, consider the qualities that you really enjoy in those around you and think about what they have done to make you feel good or support you in the past year. Tell them – and watch the warm glow!

Out and about, especially at Christmas, it can be stressful. Busy streets, crowded stores, harassed shop assistants all add to the pressure. Make it a rule to say something positive and nice to EVERYONE you interact with, for example the bus driver or the shop assistant. Not only will they appreciate it, they are very likely to say something positive and nice to you too!