Use Holiday Parties to Enhance Your Brand

It’s the holiday season — party time!  Many people dread business holiday parties.  But holiday parties are a great opportunity to enhance your brand within your company — and they can be fun.

In an effort at helping my career mentoring clients navigate holiday party waters, I turned to Ann Marie Sabath, an etiquette expert.  She’s my go to person when it comes to questions of business etiquette.

Here are her three best pieces of advice on how use company holiday parties to your advantage.

  1. Plan Ahead.  Find out who will be there and learn a few personal items of interest about them. This information will give you a launching pad for talking with these individuals.
  2. Ask More About Others Than You Share About Yourself.  Remember – – people will see you as more interesting when you are interested in them.
  3. Get An Attitude Adjustment.    By adjusting your attitude, you just may have a better time than you thought.

Great advice, to which I add…

  • Drink very little, or not at all.  Many legendary holiday party faux pas have aided and abetted by alcohol.
  • Don’t hover over the buffet table.  Take a small plate and be done with it.

Holiday parties are an excellent opportunity to interact with senior leaders in your company in an informal, relaxed setting, and to enhance your brand.  Ann Marie’s first point — plan ahead — is particularly valuable advice here.  Make sure you go to the party armed with knowledge about your company’s performance this year and any current initiatives.  This way, you will be in a better position to have meaningful conversations with senior leaders.

On the other hand, holiday parties are not the time to get into deep discussions about company strategy.  Just follow Ann Maries second point — listen more that you speak and you’ll be fine.  I encourage my career mentoring clients to adopt the 2/3 — 1/3 rule.  Listen two thirds of the time, speak one third.  This works at holiday parties, and in most other social interactions.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a free copy of my popular book Star Power at  When you do, I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site.


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