Doing Life Together

It’s that time of year. Holiday office parties are on the calendar. So what should you keep in mind in order to insure you don’t make a fool of yourself or get in trouble?

Here’s my list. I suggest you check it twice–don’t be naughty, be nice!

1) Don’t say NO to going. Yes, you need to attend your holiday party. It shows cooperation and team spirit. Skipping the event is a bah humbug moment!

2) If there is drinking, don’t imbibe or do so minimally. So many problems are rooted in too much alcohol loosening up people to say and do things without restraint. Later, you will regret it. And if your boss is a former alcoholic, drinking may put you in a negative light.

3) What happens at an office party doesn’t stay at an office party. Consider smart phones, social media and all the ways pictures and comments can be posted to the public. Missteps could ruin your career.

4) Don’t flirt or say sexually inappropriate comments. These are your co-workers, not your potential dates. This is your workplace and these are the people you will continue to interact with on Monday. Don’t make things uncomfortable. And remember sexual harassment in the workplace is real.

5) Don’t talk shop. This is a party, not a business meeting. Relax, get to know people, but leave business at your desk. Save your great ideas for a scheduled meeting. If you do make a job related commitment, write it down as soon as you get home so you don’t forget to follow through.

6) Dress appropriately. You can be overdressed or too casual. Find out the dress code ahead of time. Keep sexy down. Again, this is not a nightclub! Look professional.

7) Don’t blur boundaries. The lines of authority need to be respected. So don’t get overly friendly with a boss or person you supervise. They are not your new buddy just because it is a party.

8) Be nice. If there are co-workers who irritate you, let it go. Don’t engage in gossip. Be an example of grace.

9) Don’t isolate. Mingle. Don’t stand in the corner or wait for people to find you. Be social and make it a point to greet and talk to as many people as possible.

10) Thank the host. This may be your boss and whoever put together the party. This is basic etiquette but people sometimes forget.

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