5 Holiday Words to Build Your 2022 Strategic Team

The holidays at this time of year bring a refreshing break from the stereotypical competitive business focus that we see every day. It doesn’t matter whether it is Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanza, the same spirit of love and generosity abounds in November and December.

In this post, we will discuss 5 insightful words that we hear throughout this season that you are wise to build your 2022 strategic team. In my previous post, we discussed 3 steps to help alleviate the great resignation.

Those that follow me know I write about thinking bigger and reaching higher to realize your breakthrough success. I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to make one pivot and then create the pivotal strategic habit in a rapidly and radically changing world. As leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, or employees, as we improve our ability to make S.M.A.R.T. decisions and avoid S.T.U.P.I.D. mistakes, we will seize great opportunities sooner. One of the ways we do that is by communicating effectively and using language to build collaboration.

Not Your Typical Business Language

I’ve been studying language for five decades and fully appreciate that the words in the photo above are not typical business words. We are used to strategy, execution, assets, liabilities, onboarding, and termination. These represent the rough and tumble world of inanimate objects that can be manipulated for the one word that matters most, profit.

  • But what are we missing in limiting ourselves to the cold, sterile words?
  • How has clinging to them left us with a labor shortage?
  • How has refusing or neglecting to think beyond that world prevented innovation and breakthrough success?

5 Unconventional Teambuilding Words

Let’s look at 5 of the most common holiday words to positively disrupt your team’s innovation.

#1. Love

This time of year is dripping with positive sentiment, highlighting what traditions and values we hold closest. This is the time where we hear people say, “I love this food/treats/lights/song . . . ” It is also the time where we gather with those we love. The pandemic was challenging primarily because it separated us from the people and activities we love.

What does the word mean?

Dictionary.com defines it as:

  • a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.a feeling of warm personal attachment or
  • deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

As leaders, managers, or supervisors, we are wise to love what we do and those who help us do it. We love when a job goes well and for those that perform their jobs well. We especially love those who go over and above what is expected. Unfortunately, as the Gallup State of the American Workplace revealed, most employees do not hear praise for a job well done even once a week.

That is pathetic. As humans, interaction and praise fuel our motivation. When we hear someone praise us, we lift our heads and work harder.

When I run half any race, especially half and full marathons, I know the cheering gives me energy. But I’m not alone. Look at the New York City Marathon and listen to the participants give glowing reviews about the fantastic crowds cheering them along. Wow! Everyone loves it!

But ask those same runners how tough it is to do their long runs where no one is cheering. Even worse, imagine someone along the way, or afterward, criticizing them. Do they run harder? Of course not.

Yet that is the practice of the sterile workplace. We refrain from uttering words of affection as if it were a zero-sum game.

  • We fear that if we praise someone too much they will feel entitled and not work as hard.
  • We claim we don’t have time.
  • We don’t want to appear soft.
  • We claim no one praises us so we don’t praise others.

Isn’t that shortsighted?

Is there any wonder why our teams disengage?

YOUR CHALLENGE: Praise your team. Tell them how much you appreciate what they do and how they do it. Tell them you appreciate them.

#2. Faith

Faith is defined as confidence or trust placed in someone or something.

To have faith in one team member or the entire team trusts them to do a job correctly. It is a conscious action that we take, often when we have doubts. But at some point, we must believe, or they will never develop confidence. We can’t continue to look over their shoulder and then criticize every move if we expect to develop a team that will gladly collaborate and innovate.

Yet that is what many managers do. Is there any wonder people leave bad managers?

The work from home model has been studied and scrutinized for some time, especially over the last two years. Despite the bulk of employees proving they can be just as productive working from the confines of their home, many leaders, managers, and supervisors disagree. Unfortunately, those in power cling to the “butts in seats” model of measuring productivity.

Guess what? That model illustrates stagnant thinking (i.e., what I term S.T.U.P.I.D.) and a horrible lack of faith. Our team will never grow unless we show faith in them. No one wants to be minimized or prevented from growing.

In reality, those “butts in seats” managers show their limitations. They don’t know how to manage based on productivity. It is easy to walk through and see who is absent and assume the rest are productive. It is far more challenging to understand who is productive and who is slacking. Then it is even more challenging to reward the productive and motivate the not-so-productive.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Trust your team to do what is necessary. Then trust them with higher-level responsibilities. Be careful to praise them in the process.

#3: Joy

This time of year is so rewarding because we see the joyful faces of children opening presents. We also enjoy seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they enjoy being together.

Joy is defined as “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.”

What brings you joy at this time of the year? Is it an

  • unexpected gift?
  • a favoite treat?
  • connecting with a special friend?

What brings your team joy?

Good leaders, managers, and supervisors know what brings the entire team joy. They also know what brings each individual the most joy.

Ron Howard is an Academy Award-winning director because he takes the time to understand how each actor works best and what brings them the most joy. He recognizes the value of working within their strengths because that brings the collaborative energy needed to breathe life into a script and tell the story well.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Discover what brings your team joy. Help them be joyful throughout the year.

#4: Peace

Peace is more than the absence of war or conflict. It is the state of “mutual harmony,” according to http://www.dictionary.com.

Like the rest of these words, we don’t talk about peace in the workplace much. However, every team member recognizes a peaceful workplace and runs from one where they cannot find any peace. While some love drama and conflict, most of us dread it. I believe that is why many, if not most, people retire. They simply get tired of the drama of a bad manager, an entitled coworker, or a greedy and insensitive organization. Let’s not forget the hectic commute with oblivious or reckless drivers or rude customers. Yes, people often retire simply to find some peace in their lives.

What are you doing to bring peace to the workplace? Are you

  • establishing parameters?
  • being fair by not showing favoritism?
  • listening to their concerns?
  • proactively anticipating problems?
  • rewarding extraordinary effort?

The opposite of peace is discord. Like it or not, agree or disagree, but the great resignation would not happen if employees were treated as valuable team members. Notice the difference in those words. Employees simply have a job. Team members are part of something bigger, more collaborative. A team has a purpose and a mission that brings everyone together.

Notice the quiet peace at the center of a great team. There is a confidence and appreciation for each other. Conflict is minimal because each has a sense of purpose and mission. Yes, peace is a result, but it is also the beginning.

Too many have no peace because the workplace is built on discord. They don’t have peace because their managers or organizations don’t grasp the power to pivot through compassion.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Lead your team. Instill that peace built on a clear vision, compelling mission, well-devised strategy, prompt action, and continual celebration.

#5: Hope

I’ve saved this word until last because it is the word that points us to the future. As the ancient scripture says, “Without hope, the people perish.”

Hope is the belief that our dreams can come true. Hope is wishing, praying, and believing. Hope is the Christmas star, pointing in the direction of our salvation.

Unfortunately, the Great Resignation wakes up every year to find a lump of coal in our stockings. It is one disappointment after another. The Great Resignation is a refusal to put up with organizational nonsense anymore.

We see this in the baby boomers who have chosen to retire during the pandemic. Yes, some have retired because they were concerned about exposure to covid. But many more appreciated the opportunity to avoid a commute or put up with controlling managers or irritating coworkers. They have purposely said “No Thanks” to the workplace because they gave up hope for it improving.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Instill hope in your team. Give them a valid reason to envision a better future. Begin today showing them that they can play a vital part in cutting-edge opportunities and breakthrough success.

Contact me for your FREE 20-minute Coaching Call.




I am Dr. Loren Murfield, and I develop aspiring and emerging leaders pivot to their breakthrough success.   Contact me today to begin your pivot.

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