06 December 2008

Interns' Responses to Holiday Greetings

If a client or colleague offers a holiday greeting that doesn't match your own experience (for example, "Merry Christmas" has nothing to do with your Hanukkah celebration), just smile and say, "Thank you for thinking of me."

If a client or colleague asks about your holiday, you can feel free talk about it! A good strategy is the Teaspoon Talk Tip. Offer one teaspoon of information. Let your client or colleague ask for more. In the workplace, there is an unwritten rule that people should not "push" their beliefs onto others. This almost always relates to religious belief, although political affiliation and other strong beliefs fall into the same category.

You can be assured of not offending anyone if you adopt the Teaspoon technique and use it only as a response to questions. Of course, just as you can expect cordial reception of your "teaspoons" of information, you will want to adopt the same gracious attitude when other people tell you about their beliefs.

In conversation with clients, you may find it necessary to only listen, and not share your own belief. Often, your work with clients (or customers or the public, depending on the setting of your internship) will involve one-way communication. The most cordial exchange may not be an exchange at all! Nevertheless, it will be an appropriate client-centered conversation.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

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