Holiday Parites and Personal Impact

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

The holiday season is upon us.  That means holiday office parties.  Holiday office parties are a great place to enhance – or detract – from your personal impact.  Lydia Ramsey, my friend and author of Manners That Sell: Adding the Polish that Builds Profits, says it quite well. 

“(Company holiday parties are) not like going to a party with your family or friends…People are always talking about what you did…You can ruin your professional reputation very quickly at the office party.”

Lydia is correct.  You may have fun for a couple of hours at the party, but you can pay the price for a long time afterwards if you cross certain lines – that may not even be visible to you. 

I advise my coaching clients to attend company holiday parties – your absence might be noted in a negative way.  I also suggest that they make sure that they are one their best behavior.  This means drinking very little or not at all.  I suggest having one glass of wine or a beer and then switching to club soda for the rest of the evening.

The same holds true for food.  Don’t spend the entire party at the buffet table.  People will notice, and they will talk.  Again, fix yourself a small plate shortly after you arrive, and then spend the rest of the party chatting with your colleagues and co workers.

Holiday parties often provide an opportunity to meet senior people in your company.  Treat this as the career opportunity it is.  Lydia has a great suggestion for meeting and greeting senior leaders in your company. 

“Put some thought into what you’ll say should you find yourself talking to someone important in your company.  Think about what you will say when you come face to face with the boss at the party, before the party.  You don’t want to be standing there, looking at the boss with nothing coming out of your mouth.”

The common sense point here is simple.  You can make a career enhancing or detracting impression at your company’s holiday party.  Use it as an opportunity to build positive personal impact.  Follow these rules:

  • Arrive on time.
  • Remain at the party until 15 to 30 minutes before the established ending time.  Do not stay beyond the established ending time.
  • Circulate.  Speak to everyone there, not just the people with whom you work everyday.
  • Eat and drink in moderation.
  • Plan what you will say to senior executives prior to arriving at the party.
  • Enjoy yourself, and help others to enjoy themselves too.

Happy Holidays to you.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business, and to get an electronic copy of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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