What kind of holiday shopper are you? What’s the connection to your management practices? Plenty!

So many times people tell me they are different at home than they are at work. I don’t buy it!  We are who we are!   It’s just hard sometimes to hold up that mirror to our face and say “Am I really…this way or that way?”  But until we do that and own our “schtick” we are never going to advance in our communication styles!

When examining our self-awareness, sometimes it’s easier for us to think of ourselves in a personal setting rather than at work.  With the holidays nipping at our heels I reflected on how I like to get ready for the holidays and how I Iike to work.  There’s a parallel in my “holiday habits” and my “work habits.”  I’ll share some Playground Personality© parallels here. See if there’s a connection for you!

The Playground Personalities come alive during the holiday season, for sure.  As you know, I’m an Uber- Organizer. Yes, I have my holiday shopping lists from 2010 in my iPhone and I do review them before I make my gift list each year.  Having my lists gives me the comfort that I’ll not forget anything or anyone.  Also, I’m a traditionalist.  Decorations go up at a certain time, I organize all of the baking I want to do and make lists of ingredients that I only buy once a year. I put labels on gifts so I know who has which package.  And, funny, when I’m working, I’m under the same regime.  I pack my briefcase the night before, pull MapQuest directions if I haven’t visited a client before, and double check that I have my agenda, notes, and whatever else I need for the meeting.  Doesn’t everyone do this?  No?!

Okay, so let’s do a quick rundown of how each Playground Personality shops for the holidays:

  • Do you make sure that the gift you buy fits the person to a tee? (Peacemaker)
  • Do you make a list of gifts to buy and reference the list with the last five years’ of lists? (Organizer)
  • Do you hunt for that perfect gift and know when it pops out at you? (Revolutionary)
  • Do you find the latest and greatest gadget for the season and buy five of them? After all, why wouldn’t everyone want the latest gadget?! (Steamroller)

Knowing our own Playground Personality helps shape our awareness of who we are.  We become conscious of the words and actions that motivate us and mindful of how others respond to communication. Developing our ability to identify characteristics of the Playground Personalities in others allows us to tailor our communications to be most effective. So how does the Holiday-Prep KathyG track with the Manager KathyG?  Remember, I said we are who we are, so let’s take a look:

The Peacemaker – the same person who decides who’s “naughty or nice” is that manager who makes mental lists of people who are good at mastering relationships and those who make managing people difficult.

The Organizer – the same person who “makes a holiday list and checks it twice” makes lists at work and always follows up to make sure things haven’t changed along the way.

The Revolutionary – that person who wanders through the stores on the eve of a holiday frantically looking for a particular gift is the same manager who waits until the last minute to get a project started or to finish up!

The Steamroller – that person who is curious about what the “ghost of Christmas future” has to share is the same manager who is always searching for a way to look into the future and find better ways of doing something.

Does this confirm for you that we are who we are?  Let’s own up to our communication style and know that everyone doesn’t roll the way we do.  Spend time over the holidays observing people’s behavior and figuring out “who’s who” in your playground. Knowing the right words to say the first time will make your holiday season a bit more joyful!

Happy Holidays!