It’s time for the annual office holiday party. No matter how festive the occasion however, it’s important to remember that a holiday party is an extension of the work environment. While it’s okay to relax and have fun, a professional demeanor is still important because your behavior reflects on you as an employee or as a leader.
Jacqueline Whitmore, an internationally-recognized etiquette expert, author of Poised for Success: Mastering The Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach… (her websites are listed below) … offers these tips to avoid a night of barefaced blunders:
– Be all there. A holiday party is a great time to get to know others on a personal level. Be engaged and don’t spend a majority of the evening texting, talking on your cell phone, or posting photos on Facebook. Put people first and put your phone on silent.
– Make an appearance. When you make an effort to attend the office holiday party, even for just a half hour, you show interest in and support for your colleagues, organization and supervisor. If you are unable to attend, let the host or someone in charge know that you have another obligation and will not be attending. Simply not showing up shows a lack of respect.
– Practice remembering names. The sweetest sound to someone’s ear is his or her own name. When you meet someone new, repeat his name immediately after hearing it. Use the name a couple of times in conversation. If you can’t remember someone’s name, say something like, “It’s been one of those days. I know you’re Paul’s wife, but please tell me your name again.” Or, extend your hand and say your name. This will prompt the other person to say her name too.
… DON’T !!
– Don’t sit with your friends. Reach out and introduce yourself to people you don’t know rather than sticking with only those you do know. An office party is a chance to shine and mingle with those you don’t see very often. Have some conversation starters available. Most people love to talk about travel, food and hobbies.
– Give thanks to those who helped. Saying thank you is not only cordial behavior, but will make you stand out from those who don’t express their gratitude. Send a thank-you note to key persons who helped organize the event and to those who made the event possible.