Mixing everyone on an organizational chart with free alcohol can be a recipe for disaster as you have probably witnessed firsthand at holiday parties of yesteryear. Put your workplace celebration to work for you by following these three ways to work it properly.
Prepare a brief personal value statement. While your co-workers are familiar with your role and positive attributes, odds are you will encounter many employees who are not. Arrive at the party with a brief personal positive value statement. Consider how your role impacts employees in other departments. Jump outside of your job description and ponder the ultimate payouts you make to other teams. Do you fix problems that make their processes run more smoothly? Does your output enable them to work more productively?
Dale Carnegie’s 8th Human Relations principle is to, ‘Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.’ Preparing a short statement about how what you do positively impacts others will give them a reason to genuinely like and respect you. For example, if you recently rolled out a new process that enables the sales team to have better insight into product launches and inventory estimates, you could introduce yourself and say, “I was responsible for delivering the new product release visibility tool which my team and I designed to ensure your department had more timely and accurate visibility into product launches. How’s that working out for your team?” Following up with a question is a great way to demonstrate respect and sincere interest in the other person.
Welcome co-workers to your warmer side. Engaging on a human level and showing humility is a surefire way to win people over. Social science research has shown that humility is a key leadership trait. Showing genuine interest in employees will help start off the New Year with a little less resistance and better workplace vibes. First, say their name at least a few times during conversation. Dale Carnegie’s 6th principle is that, ‘Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest most important sound in any language.’ It’s natural for people to warm up when you use their name, so say it. His 2nd principle is, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation.’ Complimenting a co-worker on a specific professional success or thanking her for diligent work on a specific project shows that you not only appreciate the person, but that you genuinely care about them.
Pass on the past and office politics. The ultimate goal at a holiday workplace party should be to appear professional, personal and positive. Stewing over office politics shifts our focus away from what could be to staying stuck in a sea of negativity. A study by the UBC Sauder School of Business study concluded that people who are worried about gossip or feel they’re being rejected or ignored in the workplace typically focus on that kind of perceived feedback, which essentially becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be open, upbeat and focus on the future at this year’s holiday party.