Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Navigating the Social Seas of Work Events

The key is to interact with everyone, even if they are outside of your normal work circle, in order to establish your presence within the company. However, you also want to avoid offending your co-workers by acting like you’re on the clock 24/7, hypercompetitive and incapable of distinguishing between the work and non-work events.

 

No matter your career, sales reps and ad managers included, you are bound to find yourself at social gatherings with colleagues and fellow professionals. This could be happy hour drinks after a long day at work or perhaps a holiday party; whatever it is, there are ways to navigate these professional social outings that will help you solidify yourself as a leader within the company, while displaying your friendly, out-of-the-office side. The key is to interact with everyone, even if they are outside of your normal work circle, in order to establish your presence within the company. However, you also want to avoid offending your co-workers by acting like you’re on the clock 24/7, hypercompetitive and incapable of distinguishing between the work and non-work events. In the Inc. article, “How Leaders Make the Most of Social Gatherings,” the author, Minda Zetlin, interviewed the Chief Learning Officer at Dale Carnegie Training, Michael Crom, on how to get the best of both worlds during professional social events. He affirmed that you can be a leader while not losing the casual, work-free environment. Keep reading for our assessment of his advice and take it with you to your next work party!

1. Research the Attendees: There may be times when you have to attend work events that involve the entire office, including departments or segments with employees you don’t know. Treat it like you would treat a networking opportunity by getting a leg up and learning about the people who will be in attendance to the best of your ability. It’s good to know their name, title and position. A great place to start is searching to see if they have a profile on LinkedIn. This way, if you want to start conversation, you can demonstrate you already know a little bit about them and are invested in knowing the entire company, not just your immediate co-workers.

2. Touch Base With Everyone in Attendance: While you don’t want to seem over zealous or overtly networking for competition’s sake, try to casually meet everyone in attendance. Discuss the projects they’re working on or their hobbies outside of the office — even if it’s a brief conversation.

3. Chat With the Introverts: At any given social event, there are bound to be some introverts in attendance who are uncomfortable with engaging others and starting up conversations with strangers. Don’t leave them out of the equation. As you make the rounds, make sure to take care speaking with the introverts, get to know them and get them talking about their jobs as well as their interests. This will ease them into the social environment that may ordinarily make them uncomfortable.