Steps to Management Success – Step 4: When the Season Is Right, Play Santa

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 27th, 2010


When the Season Is Right, Play Santa

Everyone likes getting gifts, even if they’re too polite to say otherwise. Business gift giving is its own kind of art, but it is an art that you would do well to master. But remember: the best business gifts don’t cost a lot, but they mean a lot.

Overly expensive and ostentatious gifts are never a good idea. Most companies have rules against that kind of thing—and even if they don’t, such a gift will probably result in more discomfort and embarrassment than any genuine sense of appreciation.

WHAT IT MEANS: Don’t give gifts too often—less is definitely more in this area—but the right gift, whether as a holiday-season thank-you or an unexpected little surprise is a great way to create more favorable impressions and more cordial relationships with clients and other key business contacts. So, give thoughtfully, appropriately, creatively, and personally.

ACTION PLAN: Whenever you read something that you think a business associate might benefit from, send a copy to that person with a short personal note. This may not be gift giving in the conventional sense at all, but it is certainly a thoughtful and effective token of appreciation.

EVEN BETTER: The very best gifts are generally gestures that acknowledge your appreciation of someone and your awareness of his or her interests. For example, a baseball souvenir for a true-blue Red Sox fan, or maybe some fine wool for an avid knitter. In a small but memorable way, these gifts say, “I was thinking about you, and I know you well enough to know that you would like this.”

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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