Last week, I commented on how to use the office Christmas party to your advantage. This week, some more tips which will help you gain kudos with colleagues and your boss.
Enjoy the hospitality in moderation Hold your drink in your left hand to ensure that your right hand is free—and dry rather than cold and clammy—to shake hands. This also keeps your right hand free for sampling the finger food as it is passed. Avoid the temptation to juggle a plate of food and a drink while standing. If holding a plate, lose the glass. Serve yourself moderate portions at a buffet—better to return for seconds than to heap your plate high with an unattractive mixture of everything in sight. When alcohol is being served, stay well under your limit. Gentlemen: don’t finish your second drink; ladies: don’t finish your first. Switch to mixers or juice.
Mingle and make polite conversation Use this opportunity to introduce yourself to senior managers and meet people from other departments. Meet your colleagues’ spouses and partners (gay couples are treated exactly the same), and acknowledge that they have lives and interests of their own—they are not merely appendages to their partners. Any question that might appear on a government form or mortgage application is to be avoided. Also to be avoided: “shop-talk” and office gossip. Holiday plans, children, common interests, current events are all simple openers that will not offend or embarrass. Best to skip politics and religion.
Thank your host and leave By the end time stated on the invitation, you should be finding your host to say thank you and taking your leave.
And finally… If you’ve followed these guidelines, a thank you note to the evening’s host will distinguish you in the workplace as a confident and knowledgeable employee with superlative social skills. And that’s where the 85% factor comes into play.
Tutor, The English Manner