What Your Holiday Office Party Manners Say About You

You already know that attending the office holiday party is a nonnegotiable “do,” but have you thought about the message you may be unintentionally sending at the holiday soiree?  Keep reading and take careful notes to see what your Holiday office party manners say about you:

  • Sending back your RSVP in a timely manner (even if it’s just clicking the “yes” button on the e-vite) shows thoughtful courtesy and saves the organizer(s) precious time and multiple headaches when it comes time to track down missing responses.
  • Wearing something festive and fun, rather than slinky and tight, sends the message that you can confidently command attention on your merit and dazzling conversation skills rather than your excessive display of skin.
  • Arriving late gives the appearance that you aren’t really invested in the party or showing up at all. It also leaves the impression that you possess poor time management skills and may be deficient in other professional skills as well.
  • Complaining about the vegan menu makes you look far more interested in your growling stomach and less interested in your host and fellow guests. A savvy guest knows to nibble on something before arriving to the party to avoid rushing to the buffet table and being disappointed in the menu of vegetables, hummus, eggplant casserole and quinoas.
  • Incessantly talking about how busy your holiday schedule is makes others think of you as boorish, self-impressed, and self-absorbed…qualities that aren’t assets in a social or office environment.
  • Asking if you can assist your frazzled host pass out drinks, offer appetizers, or refill ice buckets allows you to stand out as a thoughtful colleague. Your host will probably decline your offer, but offer nonetheless.
  • Gossiping about the boss sends the message that you either aren’t a committed employee or, you aren’t very smart – maybe a little bit of both! Steer clear from negative office chit chat.
  • Making a point to talk to people you don’t normally socialize with is equivalent to singing for your supper. Make every effort to meet new people, listen intently, ask thoughtful questions and leave a lasting impression with everyone you encounter.
  • Slipping out the back door is a holiday faux pas. Attempting to escape the party without being noticed will likely backfire. Rest assured that someone will notice and undoubtedly announce your departure at a most inopportune time.
  • Walking around wearing a makeshift mistletoe hat, with a permanent pucker on your lips instantly gives away the fact that you are desperately trying to appear funny and failing miserably. There are better ways to get a laugh, and certainly not at your own expense.
  • Avoiding the excessive trips back to the bar for spiked Jingle Juice punch demonstrates good judgment and self-control. You can also confidently walk in the office the next work day with your head held up high.

Happy Holidays,


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.

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