8 Tips for Acing Your Employer’s Holiday Party

8 Tips for Acing Your Employer’s Holiday Party

We’ve all heard stories about the employee who embarrassed herself at the company’s holiday work party — or acted so inappropriately that later, she was fired. To avoid those kinds of missteps that negatively impact your reputation, consider the following suggestions at your employer’s holiday soiree this year.

  • Go easy on the libations. Yes, free drinks are nice, but your holiday work party is not the time to let your hair down and get tipsy. Limit yourself to one or two drinks so you don’t accidentally lose your inhibitions and say or do something you’ll regret later.
  • Dress appropriately.  Ask HR about the party dress code, then stick to it. Be cautious if evening wear is encouraged; it’s seldom (if ever) OK to wear revealing clothing around co-workers.
  • Participate. You’re not alone if you’re not exactly enthused about showing up to your holiday work party; one survey last year found 90 percent of U.S. employees would prefer a bonus or extra vacation days. In most cases, however, you should consider company parties to be part of your job if you wish to be considered the ever-important “team player.”
  • Mix and mingle. Rather than clinging to chums, take the opportunity to get to know co-workers with whom you’re somewhat unfamiliar. You may be pleasantly surprised, and it will make your workplace interactions that much more comfortable.
  • Be a great conversationalist. Avoid controversial subjects but do come equipped with a few other ideas of what to discuss — holiday plans, progress on gift shopping, favorite holiday memories, and favorite recipes, etc. Remember most people are flattered when you ask them about themselves, their backgrounds, their families and their outside interests.
  • Use your best manners. The way you act in mixed company is part of the persona company execs may evaluate when considering you for a promotion. At any company party, it’s important to thank waitstaff, avoid taking more than your share of refreshments, use napkins, avoid chewing with your mouth open, etc.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude. Instead of taking your holiday work party for granted, remember to thank both the planners and the execs who approved the expense. Such events can be time-consuming, stressful and costly to plan.
  • Hide your inner Grinch. Politely clap and cheer for anyone else who wins an award, even if you secretly believe it to be undeserved.
Here are 9 Proven Tips to Help Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick!

Here are 9 Proven Tips to Help Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick!

Are you one of the thousands, perhaps millions, enacting your annual plan to drop those pesky 20 pounds as a New Year’s resolution? Maybe you’ve vowed to finally join a gym, pursue that new job, lose that bad relationship, earn that advanced degree or move to the city of your dreams.

On the other hand, maybe you’ve given up entirely because of the rather gloomy statistics; supposedly a whopping 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions are soon discarded like so much crumpled gift wrap.

Of course, those who failed may not have been aware of how science can be applied to your New Year’s resolutions to increase your chances of success. Consider how these techniques may help you implement real behavioral change for the first time.

  • Just do it. It is not just a Nike slogan, but Newton’s Law tells us what’s in motion tends to stay in motion. You may have to start really, really small to make yourself take that first step toward behavioral change.
  • Schedule it. Instead of having a vague mental scheme, pull up your planner, establish sub-goals and adjust your schedule to make room for actions you must take.
  • Simplify everything. Cut out complexities; for example, plan how you’ll have healthy food ready to eat if you’re frequently waylaid by after-work hunger and exhaustion.
  • Build in rewards. Even little things work as positive reinforcement for behavioral change, concludes a study in Harvard Business Review.
  • Shut up that inner voice. Because negative thoughts can eventually change neural connections in our brains, we must effectively counter them, reports Melanie Greenberg in Psychology Today.
  • Lose the all-or-nothing attitude. If you fall off the wagon, give yourself at least a day to bounce back without repercussion.
  • Be patient. Remember it takes an average 66 days to establish permanent behavioral change with a new habit.
  • Plan for your triggers. Understand what pushes your buttons and why so you can better handle the feelings that result, advises Marcia Reynolds in Psychology Today.
  • See sidesteps as research. “It’s not failure, it’s data — information you can learn from to make positive changes,” writes Elizabeth Lombardo in Psychology Today.

As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Think through your next New Year’s resolution to improve your chances of long-lasting behavioral change.