December 13, 2010

Surviving the Holiday Office Party!

It is party time! Whether your company’s holiday party is at an offsite location or catered in the lunchroom, it is important to have a good time while demonstrating professional behavior.
Because it is a social setting, behavior sometimes changes from how people normally conduct themselves at work. It is important not to cross boundaries and think that this is a party with friends where “anything goes.” And if there is alcohol involved, boundaries become even more loose. There have been extensive jokes and stories over the years of people who have “let loose” at parties with lampshades on their head and making spectacles of themselves on the dance floor. This joke may bring to mind some of your coworkers:
"What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a new job the next day." ~ Phyllis Diller




It is time to check your behavior and think about whether it would fall on the “naughty” or “nice” holiday behavior list:
Nice: Accepting the party invitation; after all, this is what your company is doing to thank employees. It is discouraging when employees do not attend an event that was planned and offered with a “thank you” in mind.
Naughty: Complaining about the food, the amount of alcohol or other gifts your company provides. Be gracious about accepting what is offered.
Nice: Dressing festively leaving your provocative clothing in your closet. You want to be admired for your tasteful outfit not for the most cleavage at the party.
Naughty: Over drinking so you say and do inappropriate things at the party. A related behavior is bringing a bottle of alcohol to the party. You know the limit of alcohol that is right for you, so stay below the limit.
Nice: Talking to everyone you meet. Look for new employees who appear lonely and uncomfortable. Speak to them and introduce them to others so they feel welcome.
Naughty: Bringing a guest who is disrespectful to the company, drinks too much and overall acts unprofessional. Have a talk with your spouse, date, etc. before the party on what you consider professional behavior.
Nice: Thank your managers for hosting the party. There is a lot of work that goes into the planning of these events so a thank you is always appreciated.
Naughty or Nice? What will your behavior be at the holiday party this year? Best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season.

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