|Current Adelaide time:||Contact me: +61 410 642 052|
Fresh News: Body language tips for the office party
Body language tips for the office party
The holiday office party offers a great opportunity to socialize with co-workers, meet new people, and develop or deepen relationships.
However, a holiday get-together can also quickly turn into a career-limiting event, unless you understand the do's and don'ts of appropriate behavior.
The desire to relax and have fun - especially in these challenging economic times -can be a highly anticipated, positive antidote to workplace stress. But when you combine the need to let your hair down with too many glasses of wine or cocktails, it's a mix that can cause trouble. You may forget that this is not the time to rant about the depreciated value of your 401K, tell the latest off-color joke, or let your boss know that the whole department resents her micro-management style. In fact, those kinds of inappropriate comments, which all too often slip out after a few drinks, may not only cost you a promotion, but quite possibly a job.
On the other hand, the holiday party is a wonderful time to mingle with colleagues in a less pressured setting. It's a great chance to thank those who have been helpful or supportive throughout the year. It may even be an opportunity to meet with senior executives, either to introduce yourself or get to know them on a more personal level.
But there is another personal dynamic you should be aware of at an office party beyond moderate drinking and monitoring what you say: It is also about understanding the impact of everything you don't say.
In all workplace situations, including office parties, your nonverbal behavior speaks volumes. The trick is to actually embody the messages that you want delivered. Here are some body language tips that will help your holiday office party be a personal and professional success for you:
* Develop an inclusive, welcoming attitude. Pretend that you are the party's host or hostess, and that your job is to make others feel welcome and at ease. Approaching people with this attitude will immediately resonate in a positive way.
* Stand tall. Your mother was right when she told you to stand up straight. As you pull your shoulders back and hold your head high, you assume a posture of confidence and self-esteem.
* Optimize the power of touch by shaking hands - but don't go overboard. The way you greet your fellow party-goers can have a huge impact on their perception of you. A firm handshake is a business skill worth developing, and a light touch on the arm or shoulder can create an instant bond. But if you hang on people or touch them too frequently, you send unintended signals of neediness or flirtation.
* Let your body show that you are at ease. If you want people to see you as comfortable and approachable, assume an open position with your legs about shoulder width apart and your arms loosely at your side. Don't cross your arms and legs or use objects as barriers. It looks as if you are closed off or resistant.
* Mirror the other person's gestures and expressions. When we meet others for the first time, subconsciously we scan the other person's body to see if they move or gesture in a similar way to us. When you subtly mimic the person you are speaking to, it is a way of silently saying, "We are alike. We feel the same and have the same attitudes."
* Smile. A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. Smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. The human brain prefers happy faces, recognizing them more quickly than those with negative expressions. In fact, research shows that if you smile at someone, it activates the "reward center" in that person's brain. It is also a natural response for the other person to smile back at you.
* Make positive eye contact. Looking at someone's eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you talk with at the party.)
* Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you're engaged and interested, but also be respectful of other people's space. Although this varies by culture, in North American business situations, even in a party setting, that means staying at least 18 inches away.
* Use open arm movements and show the palms of your hands. Those gestures are subconsciously evaluated as positive, candid and persuasive. But keep your gestures below shoulder level. Flailing your arms in the air will not look convincing, only erratic.
You should definitely attend the holiday office party and have a good time. Just remember, you're at a work-related social function that is just as important as any other business function. Keep these tips in mind and use the office party to help advance, not derail your career!
Carol Kinsey Goman Ph.D. is a leadership communications coach and international keynote speaker at corporate, government, and association events. She offers informative, interactive, entertaining and custom-tailored programs.
• Expert contributor for The Washington Post's "On Leadership" column.
• Leadership blogger on Forbes.com
• Author of "The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work (Bk Business)" and "The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help--or Hurt--How You Lead."
To contact Carol about speaking or coaching, call +1 510 526 1727 or email CGoman@CKG.com. For more information or to view videos, visit Carol’s websites: www.SilentLanguageOfLeaders.com and www.CKG.com.
You can also follow Carol on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CGoman, on FORBES http://blogs.forbes.com/people/carolgoman/, or “Like” her Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-Kinsey-Goman-PhD/105398069543578
Reports I have written:
Measuring the impact and ROI of social media - for Ark Group
Making Social Media work for your business - for Ark Group
Social Media: The New Business Communication Landscape - for Ark Group
How to get started with podcasting in your organisation - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to use social media to solve critical internal communication issues - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to communicate with hard-to-reach employees - for Melcrum Publishing
As a subscriber you get kept up-to-date on when new articles are added.
Subscribe now! and receive a free version of my $79 report, Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business.
It's the first in a series of reports I'm writing on how to master the various key elements of social media.
Each report is an-depth, step-by-step process that explains in clear, plain English how to master a particular social media tool and help your business communicate better for better business results.
Each report is easy to read, easy to implement and easy on the pocket -- just $79 per copy.
But as a new subscriber to my blog and newsletter, I'm giving you a copy of the free version of Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business report as a way of saying "thank you" for joining my community.
Please subscribe, then check for the email you will receive from me shortly after, because in the email will be details of how to download the report [1.2mb pdf]
If you would like to use any of the articles on this site that I have personally written (they will either have 'By Lee Hopkins' on them, or nothing at all) please feel free to do so as long as you include the following 'resource box' text and a link back to www.LeeHopkins.com:
Finally, if this site or any of the articles have been of any help to you, perhaps you'd like to say 'thank you' by throwing a few pennies my way. If so, please click on the button below and donate whatever you feel is appropriate. The payment is handled by PayPal and is extremely secure. Thanks.
Subscribe to my weekly business communication newsletter and receive a FREE version of my highly-regarded report, 'Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business' (that sells for $79)
Find out more...
Related material :
A 12-step plan to take you from Twitter newbie to Twitter supremo and grow your business in the process.
Better Business Writing
You’ve probably always wanted to improve your writing skills in your workplace, but perhaps there wasn't a training course around to help you.
Well, now there is.
Turn Guesstimates into Estimates & close more sales!
Award-winning ProposalKit gives your clients the detailed price quote and proposal they need so YOU close more sales (and boost your bottom line!) Finally you can quote with accuracy, increasing your profitability and professionalism. ProposalKit is easy, customizable, proven, and downloadable now! http://www.proposalkit.com
Social Media White Paper
Trevor Cook and I wrote a booklet to help our clients and friends come to grips with this new online phenomenon called 'Social Media' or 'Web2.0'. Now in its third edition, it is still being widely cited and is receiving lots of favourable comments.
Find out more about it (opens new window)
Vodburner is my tool of choice for recording skype video calls, either for later podcasting or simply for my own record. Now that video is becoming more and more important, I can't imagine online life without it.
More about Vodburner...
What you say about Lee Hopkins:
"One of the best days I've spent with a man! "
"As a speaker, Lee and his alter ego in the guise of avatar 'Lee Laperriere' played a key role in making our virtual event in Second Life a success. Lee was well-researched, engaging and enthusiastic about the possibilities that virtual collaboration brings and his presentation showed that he had really thought about the needs of our audience"
"Wow - what a presentation, it went so well, thank you very much! Fantastic job! "
"Lindy and Lee, you were both brilliant and I'm very thankful and pleased for your efforts, it was excellent. Thank you. "
"One of Australia's leading public relations practitioners in the so-called new media"
"While I only had the pleasure of actually meeting Lee face-to-face several months ago, I have been aware of him in conference programs and through feedback from one of my team members for a while. Lee has an amazing and unique skill for managing the new media to support business outcomes"
"Oz's best social network strategist"
"As for Local Royalty, you really are a Superstar among the bloggers and blogosphere!"
"Lee Hopkins, one of Australia's most respected social media experts"
"Lee was very entertaining and knowledgeable. He demystified social media for me and he made me feel it IS possible."
"His enthusiasm is infectious - exciting stuff!"
"Excellent. A really fascinating insight from an engaging speaker."
"A very difficult topic but it was explained in a fantastically simple way."
"The Walkleys relies on the good will of Australia’s talented communicators to make events like these happen and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out from your heavy schedule to make the convention such a memorable event."
"The workshop was very useful in that it enabled us to directly relate what we learnt in the seminar to our business. Lee was very easy to relate to and he presented all the information in a way that was simple to understand."
"Informative and engaging - gave good overview of new on-line technologies and how they can be applied to businesses. Particularly valued the opportunity to have a separate session to look at the specific needs and potential uses for my own business."
"Great to talk to someone who is expert in their field and passionate."
"The ability to interact one on one with Lee, as well as seeing new technologies and how they can be easily implemented into current business processes [was great]"
"Great. Lee was very engaging and presented info in easy to understand language and examples. Use of music, video, PowerPoint etc keep contents fun and educational. Great stuff!"
“Great! Even I could understand and appreciate the content. Excellent examples, wonderful presentation. I’m going back to share with my team. Thank you. "
“Lee was a great facilitator and his energy and passion for social media was evident."
“Excellent, enthusiastic presenter who is right into what he is talking about. Walking the talk. Just the right amount of info about the different topics. Not too geeky. Strong emphasis on how the tools can assist effective business communication. Relaxed friendly atmosphere. The workshop opened lots of doors, stimulating. I’m strongly encouraged to try things out. Many thanks.”
“Lee was great – knowledgeable, enthusiastic, generous in sharing his expertise. I liked the demonstrations."
"Great Workshop... helped me crystalise my thoughts on social media and now I feel ready to develop the strategy and make use of this great new medium"
Would you like me to run a workshop in-house for YOUR company?
Contact me to discuss how we can bring your company into this new and exciting communication universe.
View many of the presentations I have given over at Slideshare
Why does employee communication matter?
Download a presentation I gave to a group of PR students on slideshare
For your consideration:
Writing for a web audience