It’s that time of the year again.
Come holiday season and there’s no way to escape the festivities. Most organizations around the world tend to celebrate the holiday season, not out of any religious obligation but rather because it’s a great way to get employees together, to say goodbye to the year before we reconvene after the new year.
Office holiday parties can be a bit of a tricky thing to navigate if you are the kind of person who does not know what to do when dealing with a roomful of semi-strangers. Even when you do know your way around a crowd, office holiday parties can be difficult to navigate, simply because office holiday parties operate under a different set of rules.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind before you get your best schmoozing face on.
Unless you are snowed in or afflicted by a terrible and very contagious sickness, do your best to show up. Office holiday parties are a great way to get facetime with some of the colleagues you see least often, such as remote colleagues, colleagues from satellite branches or even simply colleagues who work in other locations. Putting a face to a disembodied voice is a great way to build stronger and better working relationships. Not to mention, if you are looking to get your leg up the ladder or even are considering a leadership position or quite simply a manager, it makes sense to show up. Being present can often equate to being invested.
Mind the Spirits
If alcohol is not your thing, it is completely to okay to simply nurse a juice or sparkling water and leave it at that. However, if alcohol is your thing, go easy. There are quite a few horror stories where people imbibed one drink too many and made a spectacle of themselves. And even worse, the people around them didn’t let forget it. Nurse a drink or at the most two and leave it at that. An open bar is not an invitation to go all out.
Step Out of Your Zone
Instead of huddling close to the people you know well, step a little bit outside your comfort zone and get to know the others you work with often and don’t see enough. Or alternatively, go interact with the colleagues you do not see very often in your own work because you don’t really have to interact with those departments, work-wise. Office holiday parties are a great setting when it comes to getting to know others because you will not feel like you are impeding anyone’s work, as would normally happen at other times.
Be Your Best Self
Obviously, this goes without saying but be your best self when attending the office holiday party. It is important to be polite and outgoing, instead of say, loud and disruptive. The common refrain we hear is that adults know how to behave and therefore do not need to be told how to behave. Regardless, pay strict attention to how you behave. Letting loose at holiday parties is not a bad thing after all parties are where we all go to let our hair down. On the other hand, at office holiday parties, you have an extra audience who are watching you like hawks, your senior leaders that is. And leaders tend to have long memories when it comes to juniors misbehaving.
Even if you are in a circumstance where things are going to get ugly, reach out to HR who in turn will know how to handle the situation or head over to defuse it.
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