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Workplace therapist reveals what people shouldn’t talk about at office holiday parties

Office parties are an opportunity, according to Brandon Smith. However, one needs to avoid talking about this one topic during such events.

Workplace therapist reveals what people shouldn’t talk about at office holiday parties
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| RDNE Stock Project, Brandon Smith| CNBC Make It

With the holiday season just around the corner, even offices and employers are getting into the festive cheer. The Christmas party at most offices is one of the favorite annual events for some. For others, it can be a frightful platform, not knowing how to mix around with colleagues in an informal setting. Often, employees are scrunched up working so that mingling with colleagues becomes a rare factor and during occasions such as these, it’s easy to slip and make things awkward. Work therapist and career coach Brandon Smith—who also goes by @thewptherapist on Instagram—shared one topic not to discuss during holiday office parties, according to CNBC Make It.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| RDNE Stock Project
Representative Image Source: Pexels| RDNE Stock Project

The therapist explained that no one wants to dwell upon the employees, the office situations or even analyze work life during such celebrations. Out of all things, Smith said, “I would avoid talking about work at the holiday party. This is not the time.” So, what can one converse about in such scenarios? Smith shared that these events call for an informal setting to socialize with colleagues outside the work life and give them a gist of one as a person over an employee. Smith said, “Use this as an opportunity to socialize about topics that are non-business.” He recommended talking about family, interests, where a person is from and things like that.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Brandon Smith (@thewptherapist)


 

Though such conversations may be basic, they greatly aid in building rapport with colleagues and giving them a hint that there’s more to a person than just their role at the office. It is exactly why Smith also mentions being weary about who one chooses to interact with. While looking for colleagues that one would want to bond with in due course of time should be the aim. Smith also suggests having a plan before going to an office party. Though it may seem boring, the therapist adds that it avoids “letting your guard down too much” and doing something one may regret. “The plan can be, ‘I’m going to have fun, but I’m having exactly two drinks,’” Smith says.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| RDNE Stock Project
Representative Image Source: Pexels| RDNE Stock Project

He also emphasized being more cautious when one is in managerial or higher positions. The therapist adds that one wouldn’t want to be the last person at the party in such cases and knowing when they must leave is an intelligent thing to do. The holiday party at the office is an opportunity, according to Smith. Colleagues can take their shot at interacting with people from different departments and teams or even different managers. “Think about who you want to spend time with. Who do you want to introduce your significant other or friend to?” Smith added.

One must have the right balance of mingling with others and maintaining an image. Smith redirects the spotlight to have a realistic plan and rules revolving around the same and sticking to them. Smith also sets a reminder that though the office party is a place to get to know others, it still holds its professional factor and one mustn’t do anything they wouldn’t be able to recover from. The therapist also has podcasts on YouTube and his website where he talks about all things related to the workplace. He shares tips on how to be resilient, build corporate relations, have professional conduct and so on.



 

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