Coaching Tips for Your Holiday Parties

Happy Holidays!

As the year ends, we think about all we are grateful for. We extend our best wishes and genuine gratitude to those who have contributed to our firm’s 37 years of success. We have been truly blessed with so many opportunities to interact with and serve talented people across all disciplines of our executive development consultancy.

During this joyous time, you might be attending different events with family, friends, and colleagues. Our executive and career coaches want to provide you with some helpful tips on how to enhance these events as you continue to expand and strengthen your network.

Here is what to do (and not do) at the next holiday party:

“Be Other-Focused rather than Self-Focused at your next holiday gathering. Rather than seeking to tell all about your notable successes, be insatiably curious about others. You might ask about significant learning or results they achieved. Ask penetrating questions that demonstrate that you are deeply interested in them. Also, be enthused for their successes.”

Clyde Lowstuter
President & CEO, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Clyde on LinkedIn

“Be inclusive and widen your circle of conversation… Introduce others who are standing nearby to your friends and colleagues. That will naturally expand the topics of conversation.”

Carolyn Lowstuter
Executive Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Carolyn on LinkedIn

“Help others without expectations of reciprocity – you will be pleasantly surprised. Share useful information and insights (e.g., articles, videos, TED talk links, seminars, best practices, heroes of the day, etc.). Interact with those it can help/inspire. If you can, maintain notes of when you talked and what it was about.”

Ron Hirasawa
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Ron on LinkedIn

“You might (mistakenly) view a holiday party as a great opportunity to tell your story and MARKET yourself to many people. Pause, take a breath, and re-evaluate. Yes, the party is an opportunity to meet key people, but the marketing/relationship building really starts after the party. Here are 3 suggestions for how you ‘follow up’ after the party:

  1. Connect on LinkedIn within 48 hours after the party;
  2. Call and set up a time to meet for a brief coffee or a meal;
  3. Thank someone who provided you with an introduction and provide an update on your next steps.

Good luck!

Kathryn Hartrick
VP & General Counsel, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Kathryn on LinkedIn

“The holiday season is a time when we are all reminded of the importance of our relationships. It is a time for family and friends, and a time when we are most congenial with business colleagues and associates. So importantly, this is a good time to remind ourselves that it is our relationships – all year long – that sustain us and facilitate our ability to be effective. Even a team is just a collection of one-on-one relationships!”

Dave Dallam
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Dave on LinkedIn

“After being acquainted ask, ‘How can I help you?’ By offering help, you have established generosity, openness, and authenticity as the meeting protocol. While, of course, there is no guarantee of reciprocity, you have set the tone and increased the chances for a mutually beneficial exchange.”

Susan Snowden
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Susan on LinkedIn

“Never go to a party (or meeting) without knowing all you can learn about the person you are meeting. Make reference to a compatibility or an interesting fact about them and integrate it into the conversation.”

Matt Gonring
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Matt on LinkedIn

“When meeting someone for the first time, enter their information into your email contacts. In the Notes section, write any information you gleaned from your conversation – family, interests, pets, school, etc. Next time you talk, you’ll be able to review your ‘Cliff Notes’ and be able to pick up where you left off. Keep adding information as your relationship grows. If you are afraid of forgetting, use the Notes app on your phone and dictate a quick reminder to yourself.”

Pat Mater
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Pat on LinkedIn

“Spend no more than 7 minutes with any one person. With each new interaction, the mindset is to make a new friend.”

David Filkin
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with David on LinkedIn

“Holiday time is to remember how blessed we are and think of others in need of help and support. In your holiday gathering, search out individuals who you think can use a kind ear and start a conversation on how they are and how you can help.”

Anil Shah
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Anil on LinkedIn

“Introduce yourself with a positive attitude. Everyone you meet could be a potential acquaintance. Your conversation should be focused on the person you’re speaking with – show genuine interest in their lives, interests, and careers. Trust will develop from there. Good luck and most of all – have fun!”

Laurie Powles
EA/Office Manager, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.

“Make yourself memorable! Be thoughtful ahead of the event about a few stimulating and exciting topics that will be appropriate for a social evening. Perhaps you’ve just seen a new Broadway show, traveled to an interesting country, volunteered at a non-profit you’re passionate about, or read a wonderful book. When you follow up to arrange for a ‘real’ networking meeting subsequent to the party, the individuals you met will be eager to connect with you.”

Sharon Noha
Senior Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn

  • “Remember everyone you meet is a potential friend or colleague. Always be prepared; how are you perceived? Don’t be the ‘party animal’ – first impressions LAST.
  • When meeting many people during the evening, get to know them. If they are in your same profession, or a consultant in your space, follow up later to schedule a meeting.
  • Be comfortable with your brand statement. You will probably be asked: ‘What do you do?’ or ‘Tell me about yourself.’”

Paul Duski
Senior Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Paul on LinkedIn

“Now that we are in the holiday season, set an objective to establish at least one new relationship from every holiday party you attend.”

Bert Allen
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Bert on LinkedIn

“Regardless of who you’re talking to, the setting, or its purpose, be intentional about remaining open to what you’re hearing and the associated learning. Bottom line, be willing to be influenced by others’ perspectives.”

Rick Canada
Vice President, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Rick on LinkedIn

“Enjoy the moment – stop and take a second to look around; appreciate the people you already know or will meet, and the chance to celebrate together.”

Christy Glick
Director of Communications and Projects, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Christy on LinkedIn

“Have an open-minded, value-add attitude during your conversations. Be warm and inviting to learn about others’ favorite restaurants or jazz clubs. Expand on people’s ideas using a ‘Yes, AND’ approach. The tone of the conversations will inevitably be engaging and authentic.”

Stefany Alvear
EA Client Services & Marketing Manager, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.
Connect with Stefany on LinkedIn

We wish you happy holidays and much success in the New Year! May you always…
“Create Uncommon Results”®


Clyde and Carolyn and the R|L Team


This Post Has One Comment

  1. James Ziganto

    Excellent … all great comments. HR should take the lead to review with leadership the day of the holiday gathering. Also applies to other company events, sales conventions, etc., anywhere a large group gathers.

    Holiday Cheers to all at RL

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