The big mistake that people make when they go to the works’ Christmas party is to treat it the same as a night out with their friends. It isn’t…. it is a work activity. That means that there are a whole new set of rules. But how do you behave when you are supposed to be out with your mates, but you’re actually, at work?
Here are a few tips for surviving the works’ Christmas party.
Faces to Names – use the party to get to know the people you normally only speak to on the phone or via email. It is amazing how much easier it is to work with people once we can put a face to a name and have had a bit of fun together.
Meet the Boss – it’s open season at the Christmas party, you can talk to the people who it is normally difficult to get access to. Have a friendly conversation, tell them who you are, what you do, what you’ve achieved this year and what you’re looking forward to in the New Year. Perhaps you can discover a shared out of work interest? It’s an opportunity to build a relationship that can be beneficial in the future.
Keep it Light – make sure that you are not talking about work all night, keep your conversations light hearted and fun. Ask people from other departments what they do but try to talk about non-work subjects.
Avoid the Politics – Don’t talk about office politics or gossip. If you gossip people will see you as a gossip and will leave the party with a negative impression of you. Be positive!
Switch Your Phone Off! – you will look daft if you spend the party looking at the screen on your phone instead of getting involved in the party. You’ll create the impression that you are on your phone when you should be working.
Follow-up – there is nothing wrong with letting people know that you enjoyed meeting them or congratulating them on something that they told you. Always follow-up on the commitments you made at the party. It’s how you will build relationships.
Parties are about having fun, but a work-related party is still work. Working the works’ Christmas party can have a dramatic impact on your 2019.
Michael Millward, founder of Work Place Learning Centre.