Tis the season for gift giving! We can all appreciate that one gift that comes to mind whether it was an item, a keepsake, or a memory when thinking about the upcoming holidays. Believe it or not, our Profiles have a lot to do with the gift giving and receiving process. Take a moment to think about what you have accomplished so far this holiday season in terms of gifts. Now stop, take your Profile into consideration, and you can probably see your thinking and behavior preferences woven through your decision process! All the way down to the wrapping and checking those you love off your list!

Here is how I have seen thinking & behaving preferences show up while gift giving during the holidays:

The Tear Jerker Gift – Being a bi-modal with a Social and Conceptual thinking preference I usually come up with creative ideas that tug at my families heart strings, (even if I am in a back bedroom somewhere putting the final touches on the gifts moments before giving it to them). I have been known to make a family member cry with poems for grandma, the personalized blankets, the shadow boxes, or the audio books from the kids. However I NEVER have enough time to finish them. For me, the perfect gift must include something unique, and something that speaks to the heart. The act of gift giving is really only the beginning of the process for a 3rd 3rd Expressive like myself. Once the tears of happiness have been wiped away, I have to talk about the process I went through in making it!

An Elrod BAM OutfitWOW Gifts – Wisdom without words can be the best gifts of all. My daughter, who has a strong Conceptual thinking preference told me she wants a star for the holidays! Say what? Yes, you can actually purchase a star in the sky for your child. Even though I know she would love to show her friends the certificate officially certifying her as a star owner, I just can’t bring myself to do it! So I told her, “Which one do you want? That one? Okay PERFECT. It’s YOURS!” She wasn’t impressed.

My family and I all have a preference in Conceptual thinking. Arts and crafts is a crazy time around this house with 5 kids however; it is also a way for us to come together to create those WOW power gifts for those that we love! Each of us have some pretty big ideas to contribute in the creation of these handmade gifts, and our process can very quickly get a little out of control! Some of my favorites include, flower pot pens, bag of love, customized aprons, and the invention of our mother/daughter club BAM outfits! BAM, which is our first name initials, (Brooklyn, Aubrey, & Michelle) was created over six years ago. BAM clothing is the one Conceptual gift I know my daughters will ask for every single year. As you can see Conceptual driven gift giving can leave lasting memories!

The Logical Gift – When I was younger (16) to be exact, I had a beat up car with no air conditioning. I expressed my need to have air in my car to my parents. That holiday season, I opened up an awkward shaped box to find a fan with a car lighter adapter and a clip to attach to the visor. I can admit, this wasn’t my idea of “air”, but I still used it over and over again during those hot summer months! To say the least, it was the gift that kept on giving!

Fast forward years later and I am now married to an Analytical thinker who also happens to be a 1st 3rd flexible. When seeking advice on a gift purchase I am contemplating he simply looks at me and says, “They don’t need that.” and the decision is made. I save a lot of money when he is involved in the gift buying. I can justify any purchase and talk myself into why it makes sense (even when it doesn’t) so having him involved in the gift buying process helps me to be more rational when purchasing gifts.

Merry Christmas from the Elrods!Gift Giving Starts with Planning – I admire those with a systematic process. I recently had a conversation with one of my coworkers who mentioned that she is almost done with her holiday shopping! In addition, she said she knows exactly how much she spent, and has a color coded spread sheet which differentiates between the needs vs the wants for her children. You can see her Analytical and Structural thinking preferences show up in the process she takes! This is a brilliant way to go about the holidays. I can bet that the day before the gift giving will commence, she is probably snuggled up next to a fire somewhere with some cocoa, while the rest of us non-planners are fighting the crowds to do some last minute shopping. Organizing gift giving all the way down to the planning of which gifts to purchase, sounds so appealing that next year, I may need to adopt a similar system. As for this year…well unfortunately it is too late!

As you can see our behavior and thinking preferences have a lot to do with the gift giving process. The good news is, no matter your preferences, you can still find the perfect gift for everyone this holiday season. After all, there is an APP for just about everything! Whether it is Pinterest, using budgeting apps, excel, or photo sites like Shutterfly, you don’t have to have the preference, to really be able to use the attribute!

I wish you a colorful, gift giving and receiving holiday season full of all the love that comes from every thinking and behavior preference! After all, it really is the thought that counts!

About the Author

Michelle Elrod
Emergenetics Associate
Senior Learning Facilitator- Apollo Group Inc.
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Michelle has worked for Apollo Education Group/University of Phoenix for 9 years. She began as an Enrollment Advisor with the University of Phoenix and has spent the last 7 years working in the learning department: Apollo Learning and Organization Development. In this department she has had different responsibilities from coaching, leadership development, and facilitating. Michelle offers Emergenetics Meeting of the Minds Seminars to different audiences within Apollo Education Group. She is married and has 5 children ranging in ages from 14 to 3. Ethan 14, the twins, Aubrey and Brooklyn 11, Logan 5, and Bronson 3. When not at work, Michelle is active with her children’s activities including football, soccer, basketball, and baseball.

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