Tag Archives: holiday office party

Ten Tips for Surviving the Holiday Office Party

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It’s inevitable—the annual holiday office party. You can pretty much count on it every year. This year approximately 75% of bosses are planning to treat their employees to what they deem to be a festive celebration.

For some, this is a much anticipated and eagerly awaited event. For others, not so much. They would rather face a root canal than have to mix and mingle with the gang from the office.

While the holiday office party is not guaranteed to be your opportunity to gain points with the boss and leverage your next promotion, it can decidedly be the event that tanks your career. Read on for tips that will help you stay out of the danger zone and on the safe side.

  1. Show up. Attendance is not optional. It is a requirement of the job. If you can’t attend, you need to have a pretty darn good excuse.
  2. RSVP. If the invitation says “RSVP”, a reply is necessary whether positive or negative. Your boss needs to know how many to plan for.
  3. Say what you will do and do what you say. If you reply that you will attend, do so. If you say that you cannot attend, don’t show up unannounced.
  4. Don’t arrive with unexpected guests. Only those who are named on the invitation should make an appearance. If your babysitter cancels at the last minute, don’t take the kids.
  5. Arrive on time. This is your best chance to be noticed by the boss and to interact with others in attendance.
  6. Engage your boss in conversation. This needs only be a light exchange. It is definitely not the time to talk business. A hint: to start the conversation, find something to compliment the boss on–perhaps an accessory such as his clever holiday tie or her attractive necklace or gorgeous scarf.
  7. Don’t hog the buffet table. The food may be delicious, but you are not there for the food. If you have a bite to eat before you go, you are less likely to find yourself overdoing it at the buffet table.
  8. Mix and mingle with your coworkers and colleagues. This is your opportunity to do some team building so go for it even if some of those people are not your close friends.
  9. Go with some conversation starters in mind. If you are not comfortable talking to people whom you don’t know well, have some ideas of topics you can talk about. But remember that all you really have to do is ask people about themselves and they will take that ball and run with it.
  10. As always, watch the alcohol. Have one or two drinks at the most. If you crave another, have it when you get home.

Drive safe; stay safe, have fun and watch your P’s and Q’s. You want to wake up the day after the holiday party with no regrets and know that you were your most professional polished self.

Happy Holidays!

Lydia

P.S. It is not too late to grab your copy of my e-book on holiday business tips for surviving the season.

P.S. Neither is it too late to order your copy of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. It’s the perfect gift for yourself or anyone you know who wants to get ahead in the business world.

lydia_sm-e1393277822156Lydia Ramsey is business etiquette and modern manners expert, keynote speaker, seminar leader and author of Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. Based in Savannah, Georgia, she travels across the US and as far away as India and Dubai to work with clients that include universities, corporations, small businesses, associations and non-profit organizations. Her topics range from flip-flops to forks. Visit her website www.lydiaramsey.com for more information about her services and resources.

Holiday Business Etiquette Q & A

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1It’s holiday time again, and as always, there are the usual confusing situations that present themselves. We spend a significant amount of this hectic time worrying about the details. I have gathered a number of the most frequently asked questions that I receive during the holidays from friends, family, clients and media. Prepare to find your issue (s) in the following holiday business etiquette Q & A.

Q: I spend enough time with my colleagues and boss at work. Do I really have to go to the office holiday party?

A: That is an unequivocal “yes.”. Attendance is mandatory. Don’t even consider not going unless you have a justifiable conflict. Show up, even if the thought of spending your precious off hours with co-workers and colleagues is less than appealing. The office party is part of your job. Its purpose is to bring together co-workers for a bit of camaraderie. If this is not your idea of a great time, then just consider it work, put on your best attitude and go.

Q: Is this a good time to ask the boss for a raise?

A: That is an unequivocal “no.”  Speak to your boss when you arrive and when you leave making sure that your manners and your presence are noted. This, however, is not the time to talk about business.

Q: Business-related gift-giving is so confusing. I never know what to give and to whom.

A:  It is not always easy to come up with the perfect present while following holiday business etiquette. Here are some tips:

—Follow corporate guidelines. Some companies have strict policies about what kinds of gifts, if any, their employees may receive. If you have any doubt, ask your clients or check with their personnel department.

—Consider your client’s interests. Perhaps your client has a favorite food or beverage. If you can’t determine this on your own, contact an assistant or associate.

—Be appropriate. Sometimes a gift can be taken the wrong way. Avoid anything that is even slightly intimate when giving to members of the opposite sex. A bottle of wine or liquor won’t be appreciated by a teetotaler or a country ham by a vegetarian. Also, keep in mind that what seems funny to one person could be insulting to another.

Q: What if I want to give special gifts to just a few close colleagues in my office and not others?

A:  Give your gift at a time and place away from the office and your other co-workers.

Q: Do I have to give the boss a gift?

A: My answer to that is another unequivocal no. The boss, whose salary no doubt exceeds yours, should give gifts to his or her staff, but not the other way around. Often members of a department will contribute to a pool for the boss’s gift. As a result, the boss ends up with the most elaborate or expensive gift of all.

Q: Should I send holiday greeting cards to business contacts?

A: Yes, and for four obvious reasons:
1. To enhance your current business relationships
2. To attract new customers
3. To remind previous clients that you exist
4. To show appreciation to those who are faithful supporters of you and your business

Q: Is it OK to send business contacts an electronic card?

A: It is not inappropriate to send e-cards, but they are not as effective as those sent by old-fashioned snail mail. The recipient will click on the URL, download the e-card, read it, smile and in all probability delete it. Consider, too,  that your electronic card may never make it through the client’s spam filter

For more in-depth information about holiday business etiquette, order a copy of  my e-book Business Etiquette for the Holidays – Building Relationships Amid the Perils of the Season.

Happy Holidays!

Lydia

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

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.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Business Etiquette For The Holidays

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The pumpkins are gone, and the goblins and ghosts have all disappeared.  With Halloween behind us, we know what lies ahead—the joyful but often frenetic holiday season. It is a time of celebration for many religions. It is a time to share our joy and generosity with family and friends. But it is a complex season filled with traditions.

For business people it can be particularly challenging knowing appropriate ways to recognize colleagues and co-workers and where to draw the line between business and personal.

For that reason I have spent the last few weeks revising my eBook on business etiquette and protocol for the holiday season. I tried to anticipate as many of the situations that business people find confusing and challenging when I wrote Business Etiquette For The Holidays.

Have you ever asked yourself any of the following holiday business etiquette questions?

  1. Is it necessary to sign your holiday cards when your name is already printed on them?
  2.  Is it acceptable to email your holiday greetings?
  3. Is the holiday office party mandatory?
  4. What are some of the most common mistakes people make at the office party?
  5. How can you tell which fork to use at the business dinner?
  6. How do you remove unwanted food from your mouth?
  7. Do you have to write thank notes by hand or can you simply send an email?
  8. How can you decide whom to tip and how much, especially in tough times?

The answers to these questions and many others can be found in my eBook Business Etiquette For The Holidays.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

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.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.