Lecture to teach 'The Art of Professionalism'
Stacey Lentz recalls with a cringe the drunken company Christmas party that ended in a fight and a call to the cops. Not exactly a holiday moment for the photo album. Lentz, a bystander at the party, will discuss proper behavior in work social se...
Stacey Lentz recalls with a cringe the drunken company Christmas party that ended in a fight and a call to the cops.
Not exactly a holiday moment for the photo album.
Lentz, a bystander at the party, will discuss proper behavior in work social settings during an "Art of Professionalism" lecture Thursday in Fargo.
The Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead Breakfast Buzz talk is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the Skills and Technology Training Center, 1305 19th Ave. N.
Lentz, director of Fargo's Academie Agencie modeling agency, said one Christmas party mistake is staying too long.
Guests were still at the ill-fated party at 2 a.m. and an extended period of drinking is when bad things start to happen, Lentz said.
The rule to go by is to not stay past midnight or the hour expressed on the invitation, she advised. Another tip is being considerate of others before thinking of yourself.
This includes knowing your alcohol limit.
"You don't want to wake up the next day and go, 'Ohh, did that really happen?' Moderation is the key," Lentz said.
A company function is not an opportunity to consume as much as possible, said Barbara Aarestad, associate director at Concordia College's Career Center.
"Think about the fact that you're representing your company and the impression that you're making," she said.
Even though it's a social occasion, a work holiday party is still a business event, said Denise Hellekson, a counselor at The Village Family Service Center in Fargo.
"It's not going out with your friends. You still want to stay within that office mentality," she said.
Dressing appropriately and minding your manners are factors in making sure you feel good about going back to work after the event, Hellekson said.
A work party isn't the place to talk about work, politics, finances or religion, Lentz said. Office romances or attractions should also stay on the down low.
Office gossip is another behavior to avoid, especially if it's about the boss.
While it's OK to have a healthy laugh in the office, no one should be whispering about personal or financial matters, Lentz said.
"Because ultimately, it will come back to the person who started it," she said.
The best way to deal with office gossip is to not engage in it and to think about the business environment you want to be in, Hellekson said.
Gossiping leads to mistrust and is more of a reflection on those doing the gossiping than the subject, she added.
If you do suffer some kind of work mishap, the best thing to do is deal with it honestly, Lentz said.
"People can appreciate honesty. After all, we are just people. We're going to make mistakes," she said.
Trying to cover up an embarrassment or act like it didn't happen doesn't help. Avoiding a major mishap is best.
"I don't know how you recover from a Christmas party like that," Lentz said of the one she attended. "You don't want to get into a situation where you can't recover."
Lentz will offer additional tips at Thursday's seminar.
"This is a continual process. It isn't just learning some rules and having them to pull out when you feel like they're necessary. It becomes a part of you," she said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Teri Finneman at (701) 241-5560