20 December 2022 |

The ultimate test of leadership: holidays with the family


Holidays are miserable for some, the best time of year for others, and for a lot of us, an opportunity to spend time with family members we only see once a year on purpose.

Every family has unresolved issues and past conflicts hanging out in the background of our conversations, waiting for an opportunity to create chaos at the dinner table. (This assumes chaos waits until dinner and doesn’t get started in the group chat leading up to our gatherings.)

As family members grow, they develop different values and beliefs, and unresolved personal issues can become amplified over time. Unfortunately, these elements lead to a lot of empty smiles and passive-aggressive undertones around the Christmas Tree.

Every family dynamic is unique, and it’s important to approach each individual with kindness and understanding. Remember that conflict is normal and a healthy component of all relationships.

So as a leader, what can you do to make the most of these awkward moments with the people you love most?

Write this down somewhere to help you remember, “Assume the best intentions.”

Life is hard and complicated. However, most people wake up each day and do their best with what they have—even those who can’t seem to figure it out and continue to repeat the same mistakes. Assuming the best intentions will help you see the strengths and value each person brings to the table.

This doesn’t mean we forget things that have happened in the past, but it will help us be empathetic and compassionate at the moment.

Don’t forget these last two years have been extremely hard on people. Take a moment to give grace to yourself and others. Be the person at the table who is intentional about calling out the things going well in the lives of others.

Don’t miss a chance to rebuild a bridge with the people who mean the most to you.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Enjoy the rest of your week and have an incredible weekend.