The Office Holiday Party: Same Folks, Different Rules

IMG_9839Office holiday parties are right around the corner. For some, it’s just another networking event. For others, it’s the one chance per year to socialize with colleagues. While it can be said that we spend more time with these folks than with our families, being with them in a “party situation” can take a bit of practice.

 Here are three suggestions to maximize your time and enjoyment at the office holiday party:

 1. Spread Some Joy: Do you enjoy a particular colleague’s sense of humor, wisdom, or energy? Seek out that person’s significant other and tell ‘em how their partner makes your day. This serves as a double-duty good deed: you’re letting someone know how you feel, and you’re engaging in conversation with a spouse– who can sometimes feel out of place at such gatherings.

2. Arm Yourself with Interesting Information: It’s smart to have a few tidbits in mind for spur-of-the-moment sharing. Do you enjoy dining out? Mention a great new restaurant you found. Start the conversation by asking about restaurant suggestions, and then share yours.

Other topics you can prepare yourself to discuss are travel, New Year’s resolutions, and NYC experiences. Offer to send info about any of these topics to the interested. This is a natural step in nurturing relationships.

3. Understand Brain Science: Alcohol will undoubtedly be served at the office holiday party, and we all know it’s potential regrettable effects. To assist you in controlling consumption, most experts will tell you that your weight correlates directly to how quickly your body absorbs alcohol. But did you know that our brains are powerful weapons and drinking in a truly social situation is very different than in a colleague situation that includes alcohol? This was found in a study at the school of psychology at the University of Birmingham.

Pace yourself at the open bar

Pace yourself at the open bar

 There are two contributing factors, states Dr Suzanne Higgs: “In an environment such as the workplace, where people are normally sober and focused, the brain is not as tolerant and drinkers lose control of more inhibitions.” The study also found that inhibition is reduced when drinking with less familiar people – such as colleagues. 

Be proactive with these three tips and you’re off to a good start. For a half-dozen more tips, come hear my suggestions when I speak at Running With Heels’ next event on December 11th.  Sign up here.