One Christmas, a boss gifted us a book on mindful leadership.
“Ok, so you are a mindful jerk.” Someone quipped.
“I want to reciprocate with ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ book.” Joked another.
Another time we received cans of artisanal Baltic sardines. Greg the vegan tweeted, “It’s not personal. It’s not personal.💆🏻”
And those one size only hoodies, branded mugs from the company (budget), still sit in my closet. (It’s rude to re-gift “Breath to Win #TeamMINDFUL” polos)
Gifting is hard, especially at work. But it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?
Gifting can be narcissistic when it is a mass-AirDrop of virtue signals: My kind of book, reishi coffee, documentary, etc. Similarly, gifting at work can become jabs of performance reviews:
Great Book — ‘Mindset — Changing the way you think’.
In essence, gifting is committing to the “imaginative journey to put oneself in the mind and the anticipation of another”. Kick-ass gifts are delightful, witty, and, yes, loving. Yet gifting is mentally torturing and risky to your reputation. Therefore gifting can become the work to hone empathy and courage.
The thought counts because of “the imagination behind the thought, and the effort in making this imagination tangible.”
*Quotes from David Whyte