While company sponsored holiday celebrations may not be as lavish as they once were, the traditional year-end celebration remains a tried and true corporate tradition. Done right, the traditional holiday get together is a great chance to bolster those increasingly important business relationships. Learning how to handle yourself, knowing how to meet people, engage in small talk and socialize, are all key to surviving the holiday party circuit and presenting yourself in the best light possible.
This year SAFFIRE LEGAL wants to help you not only survive, but thrive this holiday season! Over the next four weeks we’ll be publishing a series of business social etiquette tips to help you not only survive this holiday season, but thrive as you work toward building and strengthening all of your business relationships.
Critical skills for any business social setting include knowing how to:
- Create a positive image of yourself and your company;
- Be a good host and a good guest;
- Engage in small talk and to socialize; and
- Politely disengage
Over the next four weeks we’ll be providing tips and insight into all of these critical skills starting with creating a positive image of yourself and your company.
The Importance of an RSVP
The first step in creating a positive image starts long before you make your grand entrance. It starts with responding to the invitation. Failing to respond to an invitation is one of the most frustrating mistakes people make – did you catch that? By failing to respond to the invitation you’ve frustrated your host and are well on your way to making a bad impression – and you haven’t even set foot in the door.
Failing to RSVP (French for répondez s’il vous plaît, or “please reply”) sends the message to your host that you really don’t think much of the effort they’ve taken in putting together this holiday celebration or worse, you’re holding out for a better offer.
The point of etiquette is to build and maintain relationships. We do this by showing consideration, respect, and honesty with our actions, words, and appearance. The RSVP may seem like a small thing, but it is a terrific way for you to show respect and appreciation and to set yourself apart from other attendees. And in a world where job performance skills will get you only so, far banking a bit of goodwill and showing off your personal skills might just make all the difference when it comes to closing the deal or getting that next plum assignment.
A Few RSVP Tips:
Respond as soon as possible.
Be sure to respond to invitations IMMEDIATELY! Waiting until later to send your response is always a big mistake. Invitations can be easily forgotten or lost as they sit in your email inbox or on your desk amongst all the other clutter.
If you are unsure as to your availability – Answer right away and be honest.
It is important that you let your host know you have received the invitation and that you tell them when they can expect you to let them know definitively if you will be able to attend or not. Don’t forget to calendar and follow up on the date you indicated would be the deadline for getting back to your host.
Do not bring uninvited guests.
Bringing along uninvited guests – including your spouse, significant other, or child – is almost as bad as failing to respond to an invitation. No one should simply show up with an uninvited guest. Don’t put your host or uninvited guest(s) on the spot by carelessly thinking it will all work out – many venues have a limit on the number of occupants allowed or may not allow for adding another guest for dinner. Nothing will spoil a deal or put you in a bad light with everyone faster than forcing your host to turn your guest away.
Next week…. Be a good host and a good guest – The one drink rule!
© SAFFIRE LEGAL/EP Institute