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4 Holiday-inspired Development Ideas


You may have checked out of the office for the Holidays, but you can still draw inspiration from the Holidays to give the gift of professional growth in the New Year:


  • Host Gifts: Who are the “hosts” of your office…the receptionists or administrative professionals who are often unsung heroes? Consider asking about their development goals, opportunities that might interest them and how you can support them.


  • Re-gifting/White Elephant Gift: One person’s task is another person’s treasure. Although you may delegate regularly, what about those who report to you? Are there assignments they tackle regularly that could be meaty for more junior team members? Not grunt work; value-added work that more experienced employees may see as routine. It could also help these experienced team members grow as mentors and practice their delegation and interpersonal communications skills.


  • Mystery Gift: Make a commitment that you’ll turn the next, non-urgent assignment that comes your way – no matter what it is – into a development opportunity for others on your team. You may not be able to delegate the assignment in its entirety, but what aspects could someone else (or several others) perform? Or could they shadow you to learn how to perform the assignment in the future?


  • Elf on the Shelf/Mensch on a Bench: Speaking of shadowing, who would benefit from shadowing you during key meetings or conference calls? Keep in mind, it’s important to have them do more than shadow. Be sure to ask them questions for reflection: What did you observe? What might you do differently? What was your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment? What feedback or suggestions do you have for me based on the interaction?


Just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing! With that, I want to wish Happy Holidays to all those who gave me the gift of professional growth over the years, to anyone to whom I may have given the gift of growth…and to all of you!