While paying it forward (helping someone else instead of paying a favor back) should be something we do all year long, the holiday season is a special time to practice this great habit!
Here are five quick (and easy) tips to help you pay it forward during the holidays:
1. Thank them for their service
Whenever you see a service person (military, EMT, fire, police) take a second to their service and for keeping us safe. If you're so inclined that can include buying them a cup of coffee while you do so. They don't hear this enough!
2. Be the change that makes the difference
In line at a supermarket or store and the person in front of you is struggling to get the right change for a transaction? Provide that change and tell them to pay it forward. It not only makes them feel good, it also moves the line along and puts the clerk in a great mood!
3. Be a neighbor to a neighbor you don't know
Is there a neighbor you see but never talk to? Try stopping by just to say hello or go one step further and bring over cookies/treats. Tell them you are just working to get your neighbors better and this is your way of doing so.
Want to be anonymous in this step? Take in their garbage can from the curb and leave a note that says "glad to be your neighbor. Pay it forward!"
4. Be generous with the Salvation Army
We all see the red kettles and the bell ringers that truly say Christmas. Instead of dropping loose change in the kettle, go one step further and drop in a few dolllars. It will make the bell ringer's day!
5. Pick up the phone and call a contact to say Happy Holidays
In this age of quick posts and instant messaging we sometimes forget the most important part of paying it forward - human contact.
Take a second and call a contact you haven't talked to and wish them a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday. Tell them you appreciate them and the connection you have and ask them to pay it forward.
Simple huh? Try one, two or all of these tips and have a Merry Pay it Forward Holiday Season!
Chuck Hester is the Chief Communications Officer for Big Think Innovation, a business architect consultancy that helps companies plan, grow and build their futures. He is also a LinkedIn trainer and speaker, helping businesses get the most out of LinkedIn, while teaching them how to communicate effectively. Contact him directly at email@example.com.
Need help with LinkedIn? Feel free to message Chuck and ask about one-on-one and group LinkedIn Executive Training.