Saturday marks the lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated for seven days around the world. The coming year is the year of the rooster. “Roosters” are hard-working, courageous, and talented, among other traits. Other roosters were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, and 2005.
Although this may not be a holiday that you celebrate personally, chances are you have colleagues, co-workers, clients, or friends who celebrate it.
Many large cities hold New Year’s celebrations, which represent great opportunities to attend and participate. Acknowledging the holiday can be a way to not only expand your relationships, but to learn about traditions that may not be familiar to you.
Holidays such as this one are ways in which you can draw your employees into “non-work” engagement. Obviously, it doesn’t need to be this holiday, but similar celebrations are good ways in which leaders can introduce inclusiveness in non-threatening and fun ways. Who knows? It might even start an “around the world” theme where periodically you celebrate different cultures and traditions.
We’re in a new environment where people may be more timid about expressing their cultural preferences, so your effort to embrace “otherness” will be welcomed. It speaks volumes about you as a leader and your company’s values.
Solicit ideas from your employees about other ways you can informally learn more about each other’s backgrounds. If they aren’t interested, it’s not a big deal, but chances are they will appreciate your effort to expand understanding and awareness of each other’s backgrounds.
In the meantime, Gōngxǐ fācái (“happiness and prosperity”) for the year ahead.
Have a great day!