The countdown to Christmas has started … 12 days to be exact! In the working world, it possibly means social functions, celebrations and end of year parties. And, that generally involves alcohol! For some, a few sips loosen the lips and for others the mask is removed! Alcohol has such an effect on people - sometimes it can help us discover a person whom we don’t generally ‘work with’!

As Cyndi Lauper sang in her song, ‘True Colours’ – “I can see your true colours shining through”, we sometimes see the ‘real you’ appearing at this time of year. Can you recall watching the ‘quieter person’ in the business discovering their voice and then the ‘noisy person’ mellow and quietening down? There is a chemical reaction in our brain, which lessens the ability to choose our behaviours.

When I work with businesses, we use a tool, Strength Deployment Inventory, which helps people identify and talk about their ‘true colours’ – linking how they behave to the anchor of their values. In so many cases people operate in environments where their ‘true colours’ are prevented. So, they, borrow ‘strengths’ to survive.  A general statement “but I’m different at home or with my friends!” usually identifies the person borrowing – however, there is always a choice in doing so. On the flip-side when alcohol is introduced, we are limited in our choice of behaviour.

As a leader, the goal is to gain the best from people, have them operate in a space that allows their ‘true colours’ to shine through. If you can help someone be themself, 24/7, you are a ‘SUPER LEADER'. The fundamental question is “Do you allow or encourage alcohol to be consumed at this time of year?” And, for what purpose do you do this?