The holidays should be a joyful time, but with so much to do, both personally and professionally, ‘tis often the season to be stressed out. There are any number of questions that might be drifting through your mind right now. Can you skip the office gala? Should you buy the boss a gift? How do you address the envelope to couples using different last names? Who pays for the business meal? Do you need to tip your pet sitter? The list goes on and on.
I can’t cover all the issues in one brief newsletter. For that you might want to check out my e-book on Business Etiquette for the Holidays. For now let me share a handful of helpful tips:
1) The holiday office party is a mandatory event; not one that you can skip even if you don’t want to spend another minute with people from your office.
2) Dress appropriately for the office party. This is not the time to wear your slinkiest and most revealing dress.
3) Limit how much alcohol you drink at the party. Remember that wine, beer and other spirits tend to loosen the tongue.
4) Decide ahead of time how you will handle gift-giving within the office. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount of money each is expected to spend on a gift or gifts.
5) If you invite a client or co-worker to be your guest for a holiday meal, you pay the bill.
6) Thank you notes for holiday gifts are as obligatory as the office party. They need to be handwritten to be effective.
7) Sending your clients e-cards is a waste of your time and effort although they don’t require much of either. Your client may or may not open your email; and if they do, they will read and then hit “delete.” A paper greeting will live on and be remembered much longer.
8) Make sure to personally sign your printed holiday cards. Otherwise they will come across as impersonal as an e-card.
9) When you are invited to dinner at someone’s home, take a small gift to your host. If you choose to take wine, make sure your host drinks. Flowers are appreciated, but only if they arrive in a vase that does not have to be returned. Don’t expect your host to drop everything and hunt for the proper vessel for your flowers.
10) When it comes to toasting at a holiday event, never raise a glass or drink to yourself if you are the recipient of the toast. Return the kindness and toast the person who toasted you.
Bonus tip: Smile during the holidays. It is a happy time to be enjoyed by all.
For the detailed version of holiday etiquette, remember that my e-book is available to you in The Manners Store on my website and on Amazon in the Kindle Store. It’s the least expensive gift you can give yourself or someone else whom you would like to see succeed in business. The cost is $2.99, and shipping is free.
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.