Etiquette Instructor: Dos and Don’ts for Holiday Office Parties

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Whether you are dreading the holiday office party or excited for it, Etiquette Instructor Callista Gould has some advice to help make it through.

“You have to think of it as a work environment. It’s slightly more relaxed but you still have to be on guard,” Gould said.

Here are Gould’s dos and don’ts.


Thank your employer for throwing the party

Talk to another employee you haven’t talked to before

Hold your drink in your left hand and shake with your right

Have fun


Complain about work

Over eat

Be the last person to leave

Drink too much

Owner of event space The Hall Nick Kuhn said drink limits at office parties are essential.

“If you’re going to throw a party, I would have a drink limit for your employees and we’ve seen parties go as far as they can absolutely have no more than two no matter who is throwing it,” Kuhn said.

Gould said there are also some guidelines for significant others who attend.

“Know a little bit about the company and what they do, don’t tease the spouse and make cutting remarks in front of other people, let spouse shine and say nice things about your spouse,” Gould said.

Gould said a person’s actions at a holiday party extend well beyond the actual party.

“Managers say that sometimes people don’t get promoted because of the way they behave. It usually has something to do with eating; somebody who is shoveling food or talking with food in their mouth. But sometimes it’s how they behave at the office party that affects whether they get the promotion or get passed up for a promotion,” Gould said.

Kuhn said one of the most important things is remember to have fun, but not too much.

“Have a good time. It is the Christmas season,” Kuhn said.

You can find all of these tips in Gould’s new book, “The Exceptional Professional.”

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