Making Office Holiday Parties Pay Big Off With Small Talk
Networking at an office party with your peers can pay off with better working relationships, increased opportunities to move up in your company and make more new friends.
However, if you are like a lot of people in today’s large offices, you may not know many of the people who work on the same floor as you, only nod to those you pass in the hall, or silently ride in the elevator with them each day. Attending the holiday office party gives you permission to breakthrough that invisible barrier that often separates people at work and say hello, start a conversation, discover mutual interests and, hopefully, help one another, either directly or indirectly, achieve your goals.
Holiday office parties with clients provide even greater opportunities for meeting new prospects and deepening existing relationships. During the holiday party you can sincerely express your gratitude for your client’s business, chat about his or her future and discuss business challenges and projects for the coming year. Capitalize on your client’s holiday spirit and if you truly have provided value to your client over the past year, consider asking him or her for a referral, testimonial or advice about a particular goal or activity you wish to pursue.
While holiday office parties have a huge potential for achieving your networking goals, bear in mind that they are not social events, but rather slightly less formal business functions that follow the basic rules of business etiquette. In other words, never do or say anything at a holiday office party that you wouldn’t want your mother to know about or that you might have to apologize for the next day. In addition, although many people enjoy socializing at the holiday office party, most shy coworkers and clients generally dread having to attend this annual function, and are often only there out of obligation. Plus, there are some people, for one reason or another, that simply do not enjoy the holiday season. To effectively network with these people, keep your conversation light and low key so you can put them at ease as quickly as possible.
Topics that Most Networkers Like to Talk About at Office Holiday Parties
vacation plans, personal goals, projects, resolutions, family reunions, holiday and religious celebrations, food, music, sports and entertainment, past and future business projects, home renovations, unique gifts and charities, ways to celebrate
Taboo Topics in Office Parties
gory crimes war political corruption pollution poverty medical problems
personal, money, family, job problems sad stories office gossip poor management decisions past over indulgences pressuring bosses for a promotion or raise hard-selling your side business products or services
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