Protocol Consultants International
Top Tips: Holiday Party Protocol
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E-mail: Judith Bowman

Top Tips: Holiday Party Protocol
Tel: 401.934.0100   E-mail: Judith Bowman

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  • Dress conservatively.   The classic black suit or dress and pearls are always appropriate, never wrong.  Short tight skirts, plunging necklines, fishnets, sequins and stilettos are not considered appropriate office holiday attire.
  • Remember you are not “off-duty.” If anything, your actions, words, and behavior are being scrutinized more than ever.
  • Refrain from drinking as you may regret something you said or did.  Carry a festive-looking glass, i.e. cranberry juice, anything with a piece of citrus, etc.   Remember: hold the glass in your left hand, leaving your right hand free to shake hands.
  • Circulate.  Make the effort to speak with as many individuals as possible.  Take this opportunity to introduce yourself to those whom you have not met or, may not normally have the chance to chat, which will be noticed and appreciated. Resist the urge to remain with your usual companions and “cluster” or, “put in an appearance” and leave.
  • Invest three to five - seven minutes maximum, with any one individual. Disengage tactfully and try to introduce that individual to another person before leaving, so as not to leave them feeling abandoned. 
  • Do not be the first or last to leave.
  • Ask open-ended questions, allowing others to talk about themselves, which also serves to place you in “control” of the conversation, always the goal. 
  • Be a positive personality, as this is contagious.
  • Shake hands with key individuals and thank them for the opportunity to be a part of their team, to make a contribution to the firm, etc.
  • Regarding introductions, while your spouse/significant other is no doubt the most important person to you, say the name of the senior company individual first i.e. the president or CEO, explain this to your spouse/significant other, so that you may leave together, in harmony.  Be mindful regarding overly communicating with or complimenting other spouses/significant others, as this could be misinterpreted and actually work against you.
  • Remember to write follow-up thank you notes to appropriate individuals. 

Holiday office parties are upon us however, the last thing you should do is dread them.  These events present yet another opportunity for you to stand apart and be noticed, in a great and positive light. 
Remember, you are
This is NOT
the time  to “let go”,
‘drink and be merry.’
What you wear, how you conduct yourself, if you drink, over-imbibe or not, will all be noticed.  Please note the following to help you survive and thrive during the office Holiday party season:
Please make no mistake.  The office holiday party is work and should be treated, respected and approached as such.   Most importantly, embrace this opportunity to get to know some, re-acquaint yourself with others and, enjoy the season with colleagues and co-workers.

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