Gifts! If You Don’t Use Them, You’ll Lose Them!

As we look around us, we can see a lot of preparation taking place, for the celebration of Christmas Day. Lots of gifts will be brought for family, friends, and for other people in our lives. Many of these gifts will be used, but some will be placed in the recycle pile or ‘stored’ for a later date. Why are some gifts used, recycled or stored? Does it depend on who has given the gift? Does it depend on, if the gift is wanted or needed? There are many answers to these questions, but one thing we can agree on is, gifts will be used, recycled, or stored.

Let’s apply this idea to our lives. We all have things which we are good at. We call them, our gifts, or talents.  In a business setting we call them our unique selling points (USP).  My two primary gifts are teaching and counselling. These two gifts have allowed me to learn a variety of different skills, which I have used in all areas of my life – personally and professionally. What would have happened, if I decided, I did not want to use these gifts any longer? I would lose the effectiveness of the skills.

Imagine you are having a team meeting, to put into place roles and responsibilities for the year ahead. In preparation for this meeting, you have been observing the strengths and areas of development for each member of your team.  In the most senior member, you recognise five areas of strength, in the next, two areas of strength and the third, one area or gift. You remind them, they will have their annual appraisal at the end of the year.

Following the meeting, the one with five and the one with two areas of strength draw up personal development plans, as to how they would use their gifts. Within a short period of time, they realised the skills they had, could be used in new ways and new settings. The more they used their gifts the more skills they realised they had. However, the one with the one skill made no plans as to how they would develop their gift. In effect, they stored their gift, just like the unused Christmas present.

At the end of the year, the appraisal meeting takes place. The one with the five areas of strength now recognises ten; the one with the two, now has four. The one with the one, brought it out of storage. This area of responsibility was taken away from them, and given to the one with the ten. If you don’t use it, you will lose it!

In 2016, I took my two gifts of teaching and counselling and explored what new skills I could develop. Now, when I am out meeting someone for the first time, and they ask me what I do, I have to pause and think how I will answer their question. Let me explain.

My two gifts became five and the five have now become at least ten. Besides teaching and counselling, I have trained as a Master Coach specialising in the well-being of individuals as well as for employees in a business setting; I am a verifier for the London Healthy Workplace Charter working alongside the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London;  I work with Activia Training delivering soft skills and management and leadership courses; I am the author of two books – my latest one 'The Use of Coaching and AfL as Tools for School Improvement' came out in December, and my third book, 'Say Yes To New Opportunities', will be out early in 2017; I am a television broadcaster and presenter working with Good News Britain.com ; an inspirational motivational  speaker talking about my own personal experiences; and an expert on living with lupus following my live radio interview for an American radio station. These new skills have all been achieved, in less than a year, because I made the decision I wanted to take back control of my life. You can do the same.

What would you be able to achieve if you used your gifts in a more productive way in 2017? Maybe you are not sure what gifts or skills you have or how you can motivate yourself to take action. 

In 2017, I will be launching my new programme called ‘Celebrate Your Uniqueness’ which will allow individuals to:
  • Identify their unique gifts or USP.
  • Overcome the barriers that prevent them from taking action in their personal and professional lives.  
  • Learn how they can use their skills in new ways, or more productively.   
 This programme will also be adapted for use in a business setting.

I would like to say a special thank you to all the people who have impacted my life in an extraordinary way in 2016.  I would not have grown as much as I have, and transformed my life as well as others.

Seasons Greeting and Happy New Year 2017.
  • Training and Development
  • Team Development
  • Healthy Workplace Charter
  • Celebrate Your Uniqueness

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