The Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) begins on Sunday, January 22, when the Year of the Rabbit will be ushered in. China, Korea, Tibet, Singapore, Vietnam, and other Asian countries celebrate this holiday. Over a quarter of the world’s population celebrates this holiday.
Chinese New Year is celebrated for 7 days in China. In the U.S., it is also celebrated as a state holiday in California and New York City recognizes it as a school holiday.
Chances are that traditions such as the Chinese New Year are important to some of your employees, vendors, and other stakeholders. Don’t go by outward appearances – what you see with your eyes is not likely to be what you would see below the surface.
The foundation of empathy is to live in another person’s shoes, and cultural sensitivity is a piece of this. The more your stakeholders think that you are connected to them on a personal level, the better your relationships will be.
Take time to learn about some of these traditions and use the information to enhance your relationships with your staff. For example, one tradition of the Chinese New Year is to give gifts (typically money) in red envelopes.
You could adapt this to a team activity. Ask team members draw names, have them write a good wish to the person whose name was drawn, and place the wish in a red envelope. Over a morning coffee, everyone can open their envelopes and celebrate the good wishes received from their colleagues.
Simple? Yes. Time consuming? No. Improve relationships? Yes. Intangible benefits? Yes. Sounds like a no brainer – go for it!
Header image by PCB-Tech/Pixabay.