BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - November/December 2018 - 24

HR CORNER

TIPS HELP YOU
SURVIVE THE HOLIDAY
OFFICE PARTY

Jacqueline Whitmore, an
internationally-recognized etiquette
expert and author of Poised for
Success: Mastering The Four Qualities
That Distinguish Outstanding
Professionals, offers these 10 tips to
avoid a night of barefaced blunders:
Don't make a beeline for the food
and drink.
It's best to eat a little something
before the event so you don't come
to the party hungry. Scope out
the crowd first and the goodies
second. Stay away from messy or
difficult-to-eat foods (anything in
a red sauce or on a bone) or large
hors d'oeuvres that can't be eaten
in one bite.
Hold your glass in your left hand.
Always keep your right hand free
for handshaking. No one likes to
shake a cold, wet hand. Avoid
juggling your food and drink and
don't talk with your mouth full
of food. Ladies, leave your large
handbag at home. It only gets in
the way. Carry a wristlet instead.
No swinging from the chandeliers.
An open bar isn't an open invitation
to drink yourself into oblivion.
Indulging in too much alcohol could
have unfavorable repercussions if
you're not careful. To maintain your
professionalism, limit your alcohol
intake to one or two drinks.

4

Choose your guest carefully.
The person you bring to the party
can reflect either positively or
negatively on you. Follow the dress
code and make sure your date does
too. This is not the time to wear
your most revealing outfit or your
favorite blue jeans and a t-shirt.
Keep it festive, yet professional.
Don't talk shop.
Though work topics are bound
to come up, this is not the time
to plan your company's next
advertising campaign, talk about
the recent layoffs, or gossip about
a co-worker's divorce. Keep the
conversation light and positive. Be
sure to include spouses, partners
and guests in the conversation.
Be all there.
A holiday party is a great time to
get to know others on a personal
level. Be engaged and don't spend
a majority of the evening texting,
talking on your cell phone or
posting photos on Facebook. Put
people first and put your phone
on silent.
Make an appearance.
When you make an effort to attend
the office holiday party, even for
just a half hour, you show interest
in and support for your colleagues,
organization and supervisor. If you
are unable to attend, let the host or
someone in charge know that you
have another obligation and will not
be attending. Simply not showing
up shows a lack of respect.
Practice remembering names.
The sweetest sound to someone's
ear is his or her own name. When
you meet someone new, repeat his
name immediately after hearing
it. Use the name a couple of
times in conversation. If you can't
remember someone's name, say

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24

NEWS MAGAZINE | BSIA NEWS | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

©ISTOCK.COM/ALEKSANDARNAKIC

I

t's time for the annual office
holiday party. No matter how
festive the occasion however,
it's important to remember that
a holiday party is an extension
of the work environment. While
it's okay to relax and have fun,
a professional demeanor is
still important because your
behavior reflects on you as an
employee or as a leader.

something like, "It's been one of
those days. I know you're Paul's
wife, but please tell me your name
again." Or, extend your hand and
say your name. This will prompt the
other person to say her name too.
Don't sit with your friends.
Reach out and introduce yourself to
people you don't know rather than
sticking with only those you do
know. An office party is a chance
to shine and mingle with those you
don't see very often. Have some
conversation starters available.
Most people love to talk about
travel, food and hobbies.
Give thanks to those who helped.
Saying thank you is not only cordial
behavior, but will make you stand
out from those who don't express
their gratitude. Send a thank-you
note to key persons who helped
organize the event and to those
who made the event possible. 

9

10

This article was previously published
on PeopleTalkOnline.ca and is
reprinted with permission from CPHR
British Columbia.


http://www.ISTOCK.COM/ALEKSANDARNAKIC http://www.PeopleTalkOnline.ca

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