Being friendly with co-workers outside of work has its benefits.
A recent survey shows 64% of executives believe socializing outside the office improves working relationships among colleagues.
While it’s not necessary to attend every gathering, showing up to some can be a valuable networking tool.
Plus you’ll likely meet new people you can chat with at work when you need a quick break.
Here are three tips for smart socializing at work functions:
Talk to someone new
It may be a bit intimidating to strike up a conversation with a CEO or the newest hire, but make an effort to leave your comfort zone.
Chatting with a person you’ve never interacted with before expands your professional circle.
If you’re scared to break the ice, come prepared with a brief introduction or who you are and what you do.
Tip: Worried the chat will go flat? Bring up fun topics like music, TV, shows or vacation plans.
Be mindful of others’ time
People at work events want time to mingle with everyone.
So keep conversations short and sweet.
When you’re ready to move on, do so quickly and gracefully:
“It’s been great talking to you. I’m going to get a drink now. Have a good night!”
Have a two-drink maximum
Consuming too much alcohol causes loose lips and awkward conversations.
You don’t want to end up explaining careless behavior to your boss on Monday.
Stick to a two-drink limit so you know you’ll keep things professional.