The Secret To Surviving Your Holiday Office Party

It’s December and we know what that means… office holiday parties! Ugly holiday sweaters, gift exchanges, celebrating the end of the year and getting ready to start 2016 off on the right foot.

While some look forward to this annual celebration, there are many of us that just dread the idea. The thought of putting on an ugly sweater, making a side dish or cookies, participating in the gift exchange creates massive anxiety and stress. Not to mention the fact that Bob from Human Resources dressed as Santa gives you nightmares. Does he have to be that festive?

The truth is, this party is a professional event in gift wrap. In fact, your organization may use this party as a way to celebrate, acknowledge and reward everyone. Don’t be a Grinch!

If you aren’t ready to deck the halls, let’s look at the advantages to attending.

1. Fun: You may have more fun than you expected. When’s the last time you had a chance to relax and simply enjoy the company of those you work with?

2. Mingling: You will mingle with your leaders, peers and direct reports on ‘level ground’. If you have been trying to have a meeting or call with the CEO since January with no luck, you may be able to snag a few minutes of his time during this party.=

3. Building Rapport: You have the opportunity to experience aspects of your co-workers that you haven’t seen before. (see graphic below) This could be positive or negative. Either way, it’s a great way to build rapport. If your peer is naturally a victim during work hours, what role does he take on when he’s in a more relaxed environment? He may show that he is an outcome creator! Does your Boss switch from a persecutor to an action creator when he’s sporting an elf hat while eating fruit cake? Parties are a great way to relax and let our walls come down, but moderation is key. This is still a professional event. By all means join in with the karaoke but getting wild and crazy may not be in your best interest.

Shifting from Problem-Focused to Outcome-Focused

Still not feeling the reindeer games?  We have another tool for you. The holiday version of our powerful Outcome Frame.

  1. What would you like? (positive outcome you can create and maintain)
  2. What will having that do for you? (benefits and how you’ll feel)
  3. How will you know when you have it? (proof/criteria so you’ll know you got it)
  4. Where, when, with whom do you want this? (timing/who else/scope)
  5. What of value might you risk or lose/what side effects may occur? (what might you have to let go of, what might change)
  6. What are your next steps? (get in action)

Let’s have fun with this!

  1. What would you like? To have an awesome and fun time at the holiday office party. To celebrate the holiday and the past year with my co-workers.
  2. What will having that do for you? I will be relaxed and able to enjoy the company my co-workers.
  3. How will you know when you’ll have it? When I’m laughing, having relaxed conversations and fun at the party.
  4. Where, when, with whom do you want this? At the holiday party this week, with my team members, peers, direct reports and my boss.
  5. What of value might you risk or lose/what side effects may occur? A smidge of ego when I put on my ugly holiday sweater. A smidge more ego when I let down some of my walls to relax and enjoy the party.
  6. What are your next steps? Find the UGLIEST holiday sweater I can find, bake some cookies, put a smile on my face and keep a mindset that this will be FUN!

‘Tis The Season! Enjoy and I look forward to hearing how these tools worked for you.

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