Networking Tips for the Holiday Office Party
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holiday office party is a wonderful time to mingle with colleagues in a
less pressured setting.
makes it a great time for networking.
thought of an office party as a networking event? Then you are missing
a key opportunity to develop or deepen relationships with co-workers,
to personally thank those who have been helpful or supportive
throughout the year, and to introduce yourself to senior executives.
if you have any level of anxiety when it comes to networking (and who
doesn’t?), here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Hallgren-Rezac and Judy Thomson, networking masters and the co-authors,
WORK THE POND! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap
Forward in Work and Life, advise you to work the room in
pairs. The role of each “tag teammate” is to keep an eye on the other
person, to make introductions, and to make sure that both of you are
comfortably engaged in conversations.
of their networking tips is to give yourself a challenge by seeking out
the person who would be considered the ‘host’ of the party. (This is
probably the most senior person.) Thank him or her for sponsoring the
event. You don’t have to go overboard with praise but acknowledge that
you “appreciate the chance to connect with some new people you wouldn’t
have met otherwise.” If this senior person is open to continuing the
conversation, mention something positive that your team is doing.
(Prepare one or two examples ahead of time.)
also advise you to “create good karma” by rescuing the individual who
is standing alone clutching a drink in one hand and a plate of food in
the other or who is walking around with "the look" – scanning the room
to find a friendly face. (This may be a new employee or someone who is
more of an introvert.) Approach that person and introduce yourself.
it comes to body language tips for networking at the office party,
here's what I'd advise:
Develop an inclusive, welcoming attitude. Pretend that your job is to
make others feel welcome and at ease. Approaching people with this
attitude (and a genuine smile) will immediately resonate in a positive
Stand tall. When you pull your shoulders back and hold your head high,
you assume a posture of confidence and self-esteem.
Reach out and touch someone - but don't go overboard. The way you greet
your fellow party-goers can have a huge impact on their perception of
you. A warm, but firm handshake is a business skill worth developing,
and a light touch on the arm or shoulder can create an instant bond.
But if you hang on people or touch them too frequently, you send
unintended signals of neediness or flirtation.
Let your body show that you are at ease. If you want people to see you
as comfortable and approachable, assume an open position with your legs
about shoulder width apart and your arms loosely at your side or held
waist high. Don't cross your arms and legs or use objects (your drink
or plate of food) as a barrier. It looks as if you are closed off or
Mirror the other person's gestures and expressions. When we interact
with others, subconsciously we scan the other person's body to see if
they move or gesture in a similar way to us. When you subtly mirror the
person you are speaking with, it is a way of silently saying, "We have
something in common.”
Make positive eye contact. Looking at someone's eyes transmits energy
and indicates interest and openness. (This is a great time to improve
your eye contact by making a practice of noticing the eye color of
everyone you speak with at the party.)
Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you're engaged and interested,
but also be respectful of other people's space. Although this varies by
culture, in North American business situations, even in a party
setting, that means staying at least 18 inches away.
Dress for success. Remember, this is a business event not a date.
Stylish is fine, but flashy or too revealing looks unprofessional.
Leave your smart phone home. Or, at least, keep it out of sight. Don't
text or check email while talking with your fellow party-goers.
Limit your alcohol. It will make following these tips so much easier!
lucky enough to be invited, you definitely should attend the office
holiday party. When you go, don’t pass up this wonderful opportunity to
expand your network and build your personal brand.
About the Author
Kinsey Goman, an executive coach and international keynote speaker at
corporate, government, and association events, is the author of "The
Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How
You Lead.” To learn more, contact Carol: Carol@CarolKinseyGoman.com,
510-526-1727, or www.CarolKinseyGoman.com. Authors Google+
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