There was a two day meeting for work that I was doing and I invited my staff to join me. Instead of attending “live” I could stream it. I planned a cookie exchange and was providing meals & snacks. And for the first time, I didn’t take anyone’s response or attitude personally!
At least four people acted completely put out that they had to make cookies. “Did I not understand that their lives were SO busy this time of year!” It reminded me of a time when I asked another new mother at daycare if she wanted to have coffee since we both had 1 & 3 year olds. I was hoping to make a friend, but she looked at me in utter horror and said “No!! I am too busy getting ready for Christmas!” Our sons just graduated high school together. They were friends but she and I never found “time” to be friends.
I invited some of my previous staff to join us. One was attending the meeting in person, one was too busy and one came. And I am so glad she did! We jumped instantly back to friends. She embraced the chance to see everyone again.
It was a long two days of tough topics. One girl just got back from vacation the night befor so she didnt come at all. Two of my older staff left at noon to Christmas shop for their grandchildren. One with IBS made it 1&1/4 days. But the rest of us hung in there.
I felt like an observer, watching the different dynamics of the group. In all the excuses for not attending, not making cookies, not bringing cookies, leaving early, boring material etc. etc. I remembered all the times I had been that person. Feeling put out when someone wanted ONE MORE THING FROM ME. Especially at the holidays.
I went to a lot of work to get ready for this meeting. My staff takes care of me all year (yes I pay them to do that!) but they go beyond. I was able to give back a little to them. Lots of food, friends, free training & fun.
For the first time I DIDN’T think – “I went to so much work & they didn’t appreciate it!”
I felt good.
And I just let them feel how they felt.
IT WAS NO REFLECTION ON ME.
What a great gift to myself.