As the Holidays approach, gift giving has been on my mind.  From gift cards, to bottles of wine, chocolates or the latest hot ticket item, finding the right gift can be a formidable task.

“Will she like it?”

“Will he make use of it?” 

“What if they already have one?”

 This past year, we have witnessed a lot of turmoil and unrest.  The uncertainty of the future has raised concern for many parts of the world.

One of the positive things we have seen is an increase in people speaking up for their rights and protection.  The Me Too movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault, as well as It’s Never Okay, Ontario, Canada’s $181 million investment into Gender-based Violence Strategy, display committed efforts to our safety and well-being.

Unfortunately, we have also observed a spike in concerns related to mental health, self-esteem and feelings of isolation.

All of this has brought to light, what I believe is the perfect gift, that anyone can give.

The gift of confidence.

 Whether you are a parent, a friend, a coach, a boss, a co-worker, teammate, whoever you are, you have the ability to give to someone in your life, the gift of confidence.

Here’s how…

  1. Listen, really listen. If someone is confiding in you, give them your undivided attention.  Let them rant and let them tell you everything they want to reveal about a situation.  Maintain eye contact and let them know you are listening, by nodding your head, maintaining eye contact and repeating back, what they have said.  As you do this active listening, they will open up even more.  People will feel supported and less alone if they know you are truly interested and what they have to say is valuable. 
  1. Pay attention to what they like and what they’re good at. We all have our individual interests, talents and skills.  With regard to their children, parents often believe they know what’s best for their child, overlooking what their child’s desires.  A boss may have their own goals for an employee, rather than considering what the employee wants.  A coach may not notice their player’s skill in a different position, for it’s not what they typically play.  Paying attention to what someone really wants and championing them to go for it, can encourage them to set goals and work toward achieving them. 
  1. Offer praise and recognition. No matter how small or how big, letting someone know you are proud of what they have achieved, will help them to feel appreciated. 
  1. Think about what you say, before you say it. Words matter.  What we say and how we say it can have a positive effect on others.  Our words can also be damaging.  Name calling, belittling jokes, sarcasm, and inciting guilt, all have the potential for profound negative effects.  Choose your words wisely and speak in an encouraging manner, reassuring your acceptance of them. 
  1. Keep your cool. If you stay calm, even in very difficult situations, you can offer someone “peace of mind” and comfort. 
  1. Act consistently. Consistency plays an important role in letting others know that you are dependable and unwavering in your commitment to them.  Being consistent also reduces confusion and insecurity. 
  1. Accept failure. We will not succeed at everything we do. That’s the truth and it’s okay.  The important thing is that we try.  If you can provide encouragement and coach someone to learn from their failure, you will contribute to their confidence in continuing to try.
  1. Act sincerely. Most of the time, people can tell if you are being genuine or not.  If you are sincere in your words and your actions, people will know that your support for them is real. 

Gift giving is typically about offering tangible and touchable things. This Holiday season think about how you can bestow the gift of confidence to all of the people in your life.  It’s a gift that is real and everlasting.

Happy Holidays!  I am grateful for our connection and our ongoing bond.

~ Lisa