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Written By: Jeanna André-Murdie

As we welcome the month of giving, receiving and celebrations, we wanted to explore the word “GIFT”. We are always grateful for our partners and suppliers who give us incredible gifts like trust and collegiality. Seated in my office thinking of what I most cherished this year, I realized only a few treasures were wrapped gifts. What I really considered important are people and experiences made so personal that I will cherish their memory for years to come. So, in that light, here are my Top 5 “GIFTS” you can give this holiday season and well into 2019:

  1. Recognition – The trainer at a recent session on memory said the human brain responds to hearing our name in the same way we do to love. So, I LOVE it when a hotel greets us with our logo on the wall or personalizes a water bottle. Another example can be as simple as having my name spoken correctly at Starbucks. It’s nice to be recognized. Most of the time recognition costs nothing.
  2. Recommendations or Referrals – If this isn’t the ultimate ‘gift” then I don’t know what is. When a client or partner recommends or refers business to me, it’s truly giving me their stamp of approval and trust. To me this speaks volumes for why we do what we do everyday. Simple things like LinkedIn endorsements or recommending us to other planners is an honour. Again, this is a FREE gift.
  3. Time – “Busy” is an often over-used and abused word. We all have demands on, requirements of and people who need our time. However, if you do give someone your time or they require your presence, give the gift of being on time, showing up to things you’ve committed to and for others who have counted on you (and likely paid for!), and give your time only when you can do so completely. If you can’t give your time and full attention to something, then give your regrets with a promise of another time.
  4. Experience – To me this has been a total gift this year. More and more I have been giving the gift of experiences to my children, and also have been honoured to have received some incredible experiences from destinations across Canada. One of those experiences gave me a gift of a lucky rock. Legend says if you find a rock with a full ring around it on a particular beach in Newfoundland you’ll have luck for a year. I found one with six full rings! Here’s hoping! It sits on my desk. My rock was free, but the experiences came through partnerships. Partnerships and partnering are the important business gifts.
  5. Personal and Thoughtful – this carries over from experiences. There are things I have been given that – whether or not they had an associated commercial price – were so thoughtful, so personal that they were elevated to the status of extra special. Like finding a photo of my family in my hotel room or being given a bottle of my favorite wine after a host quizzed colleagues about what I liked. Sometimes, it is the smallest gesture, like a hand-written thank you note, that you hang on to for years because the thought behind it was so special.

In the end, the greatest gift is you. And your time.

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