So let’s talk about the office Christmas ‘do’.
Restaurants and pubs are getting crammed full of revellers all from the same company supposedly having a good time.
There are also loads of company parties that take place at their own premises with trees and tinsel and Secret Santas designed to create a festive mood.
Some parties are so cringingly horrible ‘The Office’ looks tame; some are great fun where people can let their hair down and get to know each other better.
There could be a long list of Dos and Don’ts. I only have three Don’ts that if you follow them, you will have survived yet another Company do.
1. Don’t drink too much. Yes, the booze might be free, it’s out of office hours, it really is about letting your hair down. However, what’s free today you will pay for tomorrow if you make a complete fool of yourself. If you do drink alcohol, drink to get a lovely buzz and then switch to water or juice. Even if you and two others are the only ones propping the bar up at 1 am, resist the urge to keep on chugging it down. What you consume will be noticed and noted.
Actually, I remember quite a few years ago during one of our Christmas dos, someone relatively new to the company had a snootful too many and said something quite offensive about someone else. It made me incredibly wary of her, slightly distrustful and had to have a conversation with her about it. What I found was that at subsequent parties I was always keeping half and eye on her.
2. Don’t gossip in public. Everybody gossips (I bet even the Dalai Lama gossips every now and then); for some people it’s a way of life with juicy titbits offered as currency to get other juicy titbits. For others, it’s being in on the tittle-tattle. And for others it can be quite malicious and deliberately harmful.
It’s really hard to stop gossiping completely, though I do recommend cutting back. However, it’s a seriously wise idea to keep your big fat trap shut during the Christmas party. You don’t know who might overhear; gossip can be hurtful and wounding and you may find yourself on the end of some form of retaliation.
3. Don’t snog the boss (unless she or he is your partner, and even then it’s probably in bad taste). Don’t snog anyone who’s in another relationship. Actually, my strong suggestion is that you leave snogging out altogether and save it for a different occasion.
The Company Christmas party is not a license to be an idiot – do that in your own time.
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By Jo Ellen Grzyb, Director, Impact Factory