Probably the most important part of choosing a perfect gift, is listening to the other person. Analyticals and Amiables are typically good at this, but Drivers and Expressives, not so much. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you might want to go read my post on connecting gifts with personality!
Why is listening such a valuable tool? Because here's your chance to actually get something that your friend or family wants, and will cherish.
However, listening is as much about audible listening as it is about visual observation. Even if they don't talk about it, you can still get a sense of what they want by observing their actions too.
1. What do they talk about?
Good relationships form when each person makes a point to ask questions and be interested in what the other likes to talk about.
Ask questions about their work or free time (more on this on Day 5). Ask them about their hobbies, dreams, goals, and favorite ____. You get the idea.
Here are some examples:
- If it's a friend who loves hanging out in the kitchen and trying new recipes, buy her a new cookbook.
- If she can't stop talking about her pet, you may want to put something together with Fido. I took a picture of my grandma's dog once and ordered it as a set of notecards through Snapfish. She loved it!
- If she loves to read and talk about books, find out her favorite author and buy up the newest release. (That is, if she doesn't have it yet!)
- If they talk about owning their own business someday, buy them a relevant book on entreprenuership or give them a subscription to Entreprenuer Magazine. <– It's fantastic!
- If they like to be green and reduce waste, buy them an ecofriendly gift or use one of Simple Organized Living's clutter free gift ideas.
- If they love to talk about all the things they want to make on Pinterest, stalk their boards and buy them a set of supplies.
2. Have they ever said, “I wish I had…”
This phrase is a gold mine! It means you can get exactly what your recipient wants and they will be pleasantly suprised that you remembered.
- While socializing in the kitchen, what is something that would make their life easier, or that they “wished they had” while making dinner?
- While out shopping, pay attention to what your friend picks up or tries on, and try to notice those wistful looks.
- What does your man drool over when he gets together with his buddies?
Whatever it is, if you hear someone say this, you better write it down! It will come in super handy around Christmas and birthdays.
3. Do they want to learn something new?
When friends and family express a desire to learn a new skill or craft, there's always a bunch of tools and accessories you can give them.
- Michaels Arts & Crafts is full of basic starter supplies for cake decorating, sewing, knitting, crocheting, cross-stiching, scrapbooking, and making jewelry.
- A Lowes gift card or book on gardening, carpentry, or woodwork are great for the person who wants to DIY.
- Go in with family members to pay for lessons if you can't afford it yourself. There's cooking, dance, and golf lessons to name a few.
To pick out the perfect gift, you truly need to have a genuine interest in the other person. Otherwise, it's just a generic choice, and nobody likes to feel unimportant.
Taking time to understand the other person means you need only to listen. Your answer is waiting in their words.
What sort of questions do you ask people to get them talking?
If you missed the first two posts, you can catch up on the series landing page.