Leading On Management: Making It Through The Office Social Intact

Yes, it’s that time…TIME FOR THE ANNUAL OFFICE PARTY! WOOT WOOT! You’ve been waiting, patiently, for it to come up and now, finally, it is here. That person in accounting has been giving you the “flirty eye” and you are ready to go for the gold!OFFICEPARTYCHP

Last year the party was legendary! You checked onboard a couple of days too late and missed it all. You did, however, hear about the exploits of Jimmy. Jimmy was the life of the party. He drank everyone under the table….he conversed with nearly everyone there….he showed “no mercy’ with the ladies…and he even let the boss know what the culture was REALLY like. Jimmy is a maverick! Jimmy is a ladies man! Jimmy knows how to party! Jimmy…..is no longer is with the company. Such a shame…he, surely, would’ve made things really fun this year.

Jimmy, obviously, had a little too much fun last year. His “frat boy” ways got the best of him and now, Jimmy, has gone the way of the buffalo (and is in the cheese line). How do you make the most of the event of the year and not be like Jimmy?

Strategy One

Don’t drink. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like my vodka tonics. I feel they cleanse the soul and make most things bearable, however, this is an event you should think moderation. Remember that time you and your friends drank so much you woke up in a strange place, wearing someone else’s underwear? Yeah….that’s a great story. But, it’s not the story you want to tell on Monday (especially if you’re wearing your boss’s underwear).

Strategy Two

Don’t engage in conversation about politics or religion. Aren’t you thankful that your Mom took you to church and “learned you up” about all things God? NEWS FLASH…..your mom isn’t at the party and Kusum, from India, doesn’t think your Christmas tradition of London Broil is as cool as you do. Further, your boss is an avid supporter of the people you DIDN’T vote for last year (and, yet, you still have the bumper sticker on your car). As a rule of thumb….stay away from anything that is potentially combustible.

Strategy Three

Don’t wear your “Beer drinkers make better lovers” or “Honk if you’re horny” T-shirts. Sure, they’re great conversations pieces…..in the unemployment line. Dress like you’re going to see your Mom in the hospital.

Strategy Four

Have a great joke or funny story to share. Just make sure it’s not the story about you waking up after binge drinking in a strange place in someone else’s underwear…or about someone in the room. Make it about you. Self deprecating humor is a great way to show how humble and lovable you are. Unless you say something completely inappropriate, no one will remember what you said, they’ll only remember how you made them feel (warm, fuzzy, happy).

Strategy Five

Stay away from the person from accounting. Yes, you’ve been getting the “flirty eye” but this isn’t the time (or place) to start the office romance. NOTE: I think office romances are a bad idea in any case (they never turn out well). Wait to ask the person out until after the party. Go on a REAL date….after the party….away from all the co-workers who will gossip about things that didn’t even happen (which may make you sound cooler than you are but will, ultimately, tarnish your reputation).

Strategy Six

Leave early (especially if you supervise anyone). Don’t push to be the last drunk standing. If you supervise, leave early so your people don’t have you see them as the last drunk standing. You can catch up on what happened on Monday.

Strategy Seven

Leave with who you came with. I don’t think this needs any explanation (especially if you’re married).

This is going to be an AWESOME party! It will be EPIC! Everyone will be talking about it for months….with or without you! Stick to the plan and they’ll be talking about it with you and NOT ABOUT YOU! Afterwards, give Jimmy a call. I’m sure he’d love to hear how it went.

This post has been republished with permission from Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

President and Founder at Unconventional Leader, LLC
Lieutenant Commander Chip Lutz, USN(Ret) works with leaders who want to lead better, get more done and leave a legacy. A retired Navy Officer, he has had two command tours and served as the Director of Security for Naval District Washington, DC during September 11th 2001 – where he was responsible for the safety and security of 25,000 people on 9 different Naval Installations in the National Capital Region during one of our Nation’s most trying times. A seasoned educator and trainer, he is currently adjunct faculty for two different universities and has taught over 20 different classes in leadership, management, human resource development, and organizational behavior. He is the author of 3 books, been published in Security Management Magazine, and has had numerous articles on teamwork and leadership published in Zig Ziglar’s Weekly Newsletter.
Chip Lutz
Chip Lutz



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