The first time I heard it, I cracked up.
It was 1986 and dad and I were in the car listening to Christmas carols, when Bob Rivers’ song, “The Twelve Pains of Christmas,” a spoof of the classic “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” came on the radio.
In true “humbug” spirit, instead of celebrating the joys of the season, it runs through the most common perennial frustrations many of us experience in preparation for what’s supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year.
Have you ever caught yourself in this trap, regardless of what holidays you celebrate? Grumbling to yourself (or anyone in earshot) about everything from the stress of:
- buying presents
- cleaning and decorating the house
- preparing to host tons of people (whose company you may or may not enjoy)
- baking cookies by the gross
- arranging travel plans
And of course my personal favorite, trying to smash an extra week’s worth of work into the already-packed week before Christmas and/or the first week of January to allow me to take off most of the last week of December to be present with extended family and loved ones.
Yes, no matter how much I love the holiday season, there are definitely days when I feel like “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” is my theme song for the day.
So let me ask you: What’s YOUR theme song today?
If you want a different twist on how to answer that question, try asking your employees this: “What’s it like to work for me?”
For example, if you’re having a particularly good or bad day, does it change the way you treat your people?
These are just a few of the many insightful questions asked by Melinda Emerson, America's number one small business expert and President of the Quintessence Group on this week’s episode of Speaking to Influence.
Melinda, a.k.a. “The Small Biz Lady,” also shared
- how she overcame other people’s doubts in her ability to lead a successful company that reaches more than 3 million people online every week
- the common mistakes people make when networking
- How “coaching leaders” are committed to helping their people succeed, even if it’s not at the current company; and
- what makes people forgettable (and, by extension, memorable)
There are a lot of things we tend to forget in the haze of the holiday rush. One of them is often how to shift gears from work or “boss mode” to home or “family mode.”
That's why this Thursday at 1pm ET I'm excited to join forces on LinkedIn Live with Uwe Dockhorn, executive coach and “lifestyle liberator” for high achieving professionals, to explore three common communication pitfalls when switching (or failing to switch) from work- to home-mode.
You’ll get clear on how to shift those patterns to stop “directing troops,” and communicate more meaningfully to reconnect with the people you love most.
Register for the event HERE – your loved ones will thank you for it!
Speaking of things that are – or are NOT – forgettable, one thing that’s easy to forget in the haze of whatever your personal version of “the twelve pains of Christmas” may be, is the fact that so many of our headaches are actually a blessing in disguise:
- We feel compelled to buy a million presents because we have that many loved ones in our lives
- We are ABLE to buy all those presents because we have the means to do so
- The headache of cleaning and decorating the house is because we HAVE a house to clean and decorate
- The challenge of clearing time to take off of work is because we have enough a stable job that provides for our needs
- The possible ritual of seeing some “less favorite” people is because we have the security of a permanent family
This last one particularly hits home.
I am perpetually aware of how blessed I am to have been raised in a stable, loving family, and now as an adult, how blessed I am to have two happy, healthy kids of my own.
I’m equally aware of the fact that this is NOT the case for the 407,000 children and teens in foster care across the US, many who are waiting to be adopted, wondering every day if they will ever have a “forever family”.
As you probably know, this issue is close to my heart, which is why I just made my year-end donation to the Adoption Center, and I wanted to ask for your support as well.
The Adoption Center’s programs help teens (who are most likely to just age out of the foster system and end up on the streets instead of getting adopted) to find and embrace the love and connection of a permanent family they can call their own.
If you are able to join me in helping give a child the gift of a loving family, any amount may be donated online by clicking here or by going to https://adopt.kindful.com/.
Join me and help more children change their theme song – perhaps “We Are Family” – his holiday season?
If you do, I bet it will change YOURS too, to one that reflects true “tidings of comfort and joy.”
Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating this week, merry Christmas to those preparing to celebrate, and peace to all!
Congratulations to Pete Joniec, president of the Jonus Group, whose “Speaking to Influence” episode hit #122 on iTunes/Apple business management podcasts! If you missed it last week, you can still catch it here.