Last week I was on Fox 5 San Diego sharing how to prevent holiday office party fouls with Etiquette Coach, Elaine Swann.
Watch the video here:
Here are some scenarios you might find at your next holiday office party:
1) Can’t Stop Talking About Work Girl/Guy
This is someone who keeps talking about work and how we really need to get the reports done and how we need to do a better job to increase the sales of the company. No one likes to talk about work at a social event. People want to have a good time and relax and by talking about work, it will make people want to get away from you fast.
Instead, use it as an opportunity to get to know the people you work with better so you can develop trust. Ask them about their families or their hobbies or where they live. Get to know them better in a relaxed environment. That trust will make your relationship better next week at work.
2) Scared to Talk to Anyone and Sits in the Corner Girl/Guy
This type of person looks untrustful and standoffish. If you don’t look like you are having any fun, you won’t be invited to future social gatherings and will miss out on opportunities to build your network and find out about future career opportunities. Socializing and networking can be great for your future career path.
Your future job will probably be found through a referral and if you want to move up, you must start talking with people in higher level positions in the job you want. Once again, try to have a good time and relax. Also, don’t just talk with people you are comfortable with. Go outside the box, face your fears and meet someone new. You never know when that contact will help you next week at work.
3) The Gossiper
She says she saw the boss leaving with another co-worker and she thinks they are dating, etc. This type of behavior will only make you seem untrustworthy. If you can’t be trusted or if you come across as dishonest at all, you will not be asked to take on additional opportunities. You will not be seen as a teammate, and people will not want you on their team for fear of you talking bad about them.
4) The Drinker
Bad impressions don’t go away. Unfortunately, when people see you on Monday morning, they will remember how you acted while drunk. Many business meetings occur over drinks and if you can’t be trusted to handle your liquor, you will not be asked to go out again to these important meetings.
Not only that, but you lose your professional image and may not be seen as someone who is a leader or ready for responsibility in the future. You will be seen as a “young college kid” forever instead and will be passed over for opportunities. Yes, one bad night can do that.
5) The Awkward Spouse Who Just Sits There and Doesn’t Say Anything
Your spouse can help you build your reputation at a party, but if they are quiet and don’t say anything, it is a direct reflection on you. Make sure you prepare your spouse with the names of people that they will meet, especially the important people that you want to make a good impression on (Say, “Oh it’s so nice to meet you. My husband has said so many great things about you!”)
If you are both sitting there alone, it looks like you don’t want to be interrupted and others will continue to talk without you. Move around the room. Introduce your significant other to everyone and leave him/her with something to talk about. Scope out the people you think would get along with your spouse and make sure they are on a good conversation before you leave them alone and socialize with someone else.
Holiday Office Party Do’s:
- Do use it as an opportunity to get to know the people you work with better
- Do use it as an opportunity to get to know people in higher level positions in jobs that you want
- For Women: Dress similar to how you would at work except with bolder jewelry/makeup
- Have a good time and relax
- Do feel free to leave early…you don’t have to stay until the last drink is poured
Holiday Office Party Don’ts:
- Don’t talk about work
- Don’t gossip
- Don’t only talk to people that you are comfortable with
- Don’t flirt
- For Women: Don’t wear a short skirt or show cleavage
- Don’t drink too much