The holidays are upon us! It’s one of my favorite seasons for networking – I find that people really get into the spirit of giving and making connections – perfect time to develop meaningful relationships.
With the holidays also come the requisite office parties. As such, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a few tips for handling these annual events. Here are my top five picks:
- Be Present. Don’t just show up at the party — be part of the party. Visit with others. Be sure to introduce yourself to colleagues you may not know or may not know well; catch up with those who you do know. Have meaningful conversations.
- Keep it Professional. Just because this is billed as a “party,” don’t forget its first name is “office.” Behave as professionally at the event as you would during a typical work day. Though it is a festive, more casual environment, you want to be able to look your colleagues in the eye on Monday morning without blushing!
- Limit Your Alcoholic Beverage Consumption. It can be tempting to take full advantage of the open bar. However, word to the wise, pace yourself! Don’t overdo it or drink so much that you lose control of your faculties! For the reason why… refer to tip #2.
- Be Merry. Smile. Have Fun! Allow the party atmosphere to come through. Lighten the mood a bit. Free yourself of your worries and concerns. This is the time to ask about family, holiday plans, traditions. It is not the time to talk about the big project you are working on. Be prepared to share your own thoughts on family, holiday plans and traditions.
- Express Gratitude. Whether you’re the person in charge or rank elsewhere on the corporate ladder, demonstrate your appreciation to your colleagues by saying “thank you!” Your genuine gratitude will go a long way to making others feel valued. Tell your peers, your manager and especially your direct reports (and their direct reports!) how grateful you are for their dedication and commitment to the important work you all do together.
What other tips do you have for hosting and/or enjoying office holiday parties? How about holiday Networking tips? Please share! We’d all love to learn from you.