Will You Be Naughty or Nice to Your Network This Holiday Season?

The holidays are a great opportunity to reach out to people you care about, personally and professionally. Yet, more so than the thought, it's the execution that counts most during this frenzied time of year. Use these tips to make sure your efforts to spread cheer don't come off as insincere.

Naughty: You send out pre-engraved, homogenous company holiday cards with nary a signature.
Nice: You write a personal note to each recipient, even if it's just a few words.

Naughty: Giving everyone a generic, clich├ęd gift that your clients may not be interested in - or able to enjoy.
Nice: Recognizing that not everyone likes chocolate or popcorn or drinks wine and instead giving people something that reflects their tastes. Stumped? Try giving out spices from Penzeys. Or make a donation to a charitable organization in which a client has expressed interest.

Naughty: Throwing a holiday party and not allowing folks to bring a guest.
Nice: Forget the party! Most people are busy enough around the holidays. Why not throw a New Year's brainstorming session for friends and clients wherein you all help each other set professional goals and offer up advice and support?

Naughty: Your holiday greeting is the only time you reach out to your network each year.
Nice: Call everyone personally, apologize for being out of touch, and schedule a time to grab lunch or a drink in January.

Naughty: You call in favors at the eleventh hour, stressing out vendors and well-connected friends.
Nice: Plan ahead for business and don't pull any strings during the holidays - unless, of course, your job is on the line.

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