5 Ways to be a Leader Who Checks In, Not Out During the Holidays

Dec. 9, 2015
As a leader, make sure you don't just show up to work, but also stay engaged at the office.

In December, it’s easy to get caught up in the holidays and lose touch with your daily responsibilities. For leaders, this is especially dangerous, as it sends the wrong message to employees who look to you for guidance and motivation.

Achim Nowak, an author and the president of Influens, offers five ways to make sure you check in, not out this holiday season.

  1. Choose private time over group time:  A lot of holiday activity happens in large social events. Your team members, however, yearn for private moments with you. Make the time. Schedule it. Take it out of the office. Connect.
  2. Show heartfelt appreciation: Holiday time, at its best, is a time when we reflect on the purpose and meaning of our lives. Be the leader who affirms the value that each member of your team brings to work. Offer praise. Show appreciation. Make sure it is specific, clear and not canned.
  3. Shut up and listen: Everyone longs to be heard. When you are with your folks, shut up. Listen. Let them know you heard. Lots of good will be your reward. This is especially powerful during the rush-rush of holiday activity, full of surface chatter.
  4. Anchor yourself: As we rush from one meeting to the next, one obligation to the other, it is easy to get caught in a blur. We feel the adrenaline rush, but we don’t check in. Stay anchored with mini transitions between activities. A moment of quiet time, an inspirational reading, a prayer, a focus on breathing, a moment with eyes closed.
  5. Be real: Stay real with folks about how your day is going. If you’re stressed, admit it. If life is going too fast, admit it. Don’t put on the fake happy leader act. Be real with others. To be real with folks, you have to say real with yourself.
Nowak is an executive coach to Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs, and the author of THE MOMENT: A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World.
About the Author

Ginger Christ | Associate Editor

Ginger Christ is an associate editor for EHS Today, a Penton publication.

She has covered business news for the past seven years, working at daily and weekly newspapers and magazines in Ohio, including the Dayton Business Journal and Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Most recently, she covered transportation and leadership for IndustryWeek, a sister publication to EHS Today.

She holds a bachelor of arts in English and in Film Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

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