How to Throw an Emotionally Intelligent Holiday Party

The holidays are meant to be a joyous season of tacky sweaters, hot chocolate, and hilarious antics; a time to celebrate the year with your co-workers and bond over general merriment.However, the unfortunate truth for some of our colleagues is that the holidays are a very difficult time.

This is an emotionally-charged season, which carries memories that are warming for some, and painful for others. This time can remind people of regrets, missed loved ones, personal struggles, and addictions that are more difficult to hide.

We spend so much time in close quarters with our co-workers that we may think we know everything about them. This is deceiving because there is so much that folks can’t or don’t want to bring up at work – and the holidays can cause them to suffer in silence.

As you look towards planning your holiday parties, use your emotional intelligence to create an event that everyone can enjoy. Here are some ideas:

Nix the alcohol and opt for a natural high.

I used to work in an office that had many recovering alcoholics in it. Luckily, we all kept an open dialogue about the issue, so everyone felt supported. But one of the challenges for us in throwing an event was choosing a venue that didn’t serve alcohol.

Beer and wine seem essential to most holiday parties because it loosens everyone up. You can achieve the same feeling by planning an activity that forces everyone out of their comfort zones.

Try playing a well-executed icebreaker game. One of my favorites is the one where you give each person a headband with a different celebrity’s name on it (which they can’t see). Guests have to go around and ask each other questions about their celebrity in order to guess who it is. This usually gets people laughing or talking – even well after the game is over.

continue reading… Inc.

by Molly Reynolds


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