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With the Christmas season upon us, CBC Edmonton AM radio show called me for some help and advice on how to avoid embarrassment at these unavoidable gatherings.
Here are some helpful tips and a link to the full article in CBC News entitled - Common sense is not always that common: What not to do at the office Christmas party
Getting tipsy with your boss and colleagues is filled with pitfalls. It's important to recognize that it is business first, social second. People forget that and think, "Oh, it's a party, I can let my hair down, wear my sexiest outfit, drink at company expense and flirt with that cute guy or gal in payroll.
Though it can be tempting to let loose, your naughty behaviour will be remembered by all, including the boss. Especially if you're in a sales or client facing role, the people at the top will be observing how you interact and assume that behaviour will be taken externally.
Try to avoid "shop talk" especially if you have spouses or partners attending. Focus the conversation on people's lives and interests. Keep it light and ask lots of questions. Don't be exclusive. Be sure to mingle with clients and co-workers outside your department.
We're all human so at the end of the day we'll vent about so and so. It can be bad manners even when we never expect it to go anywhere. Under the influence of alcohol, the Christmas Office party isn’t the place to do it.
What you wear at the office Christmas party says a lot about you. Take it up a notch. Especially if clients are attending, unless it's part of the theme, leave your ugly Christmas sweaters at home.
It can be bad manners to arrive too early (unless you want to help setup) and you never want to be the last man (or woman) standing. Arrive fashionably late and leave before the party starts to fade.
Have fun and use your etiquette common sense but remember, common sense is not always that common."