I thought that as it’s the festive season, we’d all enjoy a little fun so pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and see which Christmas Party Characters you might be – and watch out for the rest at your festive shin dig!
The Christmas party season is upon us and as teams take this opportunity to let off steam the usual behaviours and characteristics of individuals can become exaggerated. The success or failure or the extent of the aftermath will be dictated by fore thought you have put in and the balance of characters you have in your team. Let’s examine the characters and the potential issues they bring.
This is the classic over played extrovert. Their personal slogan is “life is for living and I’m not going to miss it.”Their ideal night out consists of alcohol, dancing and more alcohol and more dancing. They assume that everyone has an extrovert inside them just waiting to be released and it is their role in life to help everyone set their inner extrovert free. Being the life and soul of the party they think everyone will enjoy their version of a night out. This personality can be a real problem if they happen to be the business owner. The downside to an Excessor is they will tire you out. On the other hand, every team needs on to give the party momentum.
The shy introverted member of the team who, quite frankly, would rather stick pins in their eyes than play games, talk about nothing in general and dance. Do not misunderstand them, it’s not that they don’t like their colleagues they just find social situations painful and exhausting. They may not turn up, feigning a cold or they could simply sit in the corner not talking to anyone all night. Under extreme social pressure and, in a vain attempt to be part of “the team,” they could consume far too much alcohol far too quickly and make a fool of themselves with the team Raver. In doing so they help reinforce the Excessors theory and give them a personal success of releasing someone’s inner extrovert. Their preferred night out is a night in! Too many of these in a team and your Christmas party will be held on line. On the upside their strong reflection skills are necessary to provide a much needed balance to the Excessor both in and out of work.
This is the rational logical thought driven none emotional team member. They like dealing with problems because problems have solutions. Nice tidy solutions. They can often be mistaken for being negative because they are looking for and raising problems all the time. Actually they are simply making their life interesting and adding value in their way. They like machines, computers and office furniture (especially flat pack) because they don’t have feelings and never answer back. They think that the key to socialising is to talk about their chosen and favourite subject ad infinitum without drawing breath. They have obvious advantages in delegating organisation of the party to them as long as you are clear with what you want otherwise a real ale fuelled pub quiz is on the cards. They also bring the added advantage that there is never a problem finding a seat near them even in the busiest of establishments. They are great organisers but could be overly focussed on timing, accuracy and value for money.
The cynic sees everything as an opportunity to further their agenda. They will only drink to appear to be joining in but will likely be diluting or replacing alcohol with soft drinks. Their idea of a good night out is talking the boss into a pay rise, a new job title or allocating more funds to their department. For the team night out their objective is to elicit as much “classified” information out of the drunk boss to use throughout the year as ammunition to improve their position. Being sober automatically makes them the team photographer. Be scared, be very scared. Their ideal night out consists of networking and exchanging business cards. The downside is you never know they are really thinking and have to be careful what you say around them. The upside is that their negotiation skills are a huge asset when annual pay review time is here. You also need one sober person to keep an eye on everyone else.
This is the newly divorced or single serial relationship fiend in the office. They are defined only by whether or not they are in a relationship. Their life and their existence is all about finding their next partner because unless you are in a relationship you are not a real person. They make great company for the Excessor since they too think that alcohol and dancing are the way to a new partner’s heart. They will be the first on the dance floor/ table strutting their mating rituals in public. Sadly they will probably also be the last ones on the dance floor at the end of the night having to be dragged off by the bouncer in tears of rejection despite having snogged three members of the company already. Their ideal night out is a singles speed drinking/dating excursion. Unfortunately the Raver may not hang around long with your party if their prospects are not good. ON the upside they are fantastic generators of workplace gossip and hugely entertaining company.
The point of these stereotypical descriptions is to highlight the fact that there will be a wide range of personalities in any business and they will have a wide range of preferences. They will however, have some common ground that could lead to a really good night out for all. Taking different views into account is about accommodating and allowing for difference. It does not equal diluting the fun. My view on the Christmas night out is that it is my opportunity to say thank you to those that have worked with me and helped me grow or sustain my business. That being the case I owe it to them to make it as enjoyable as possible for the majority, and that means having a little bit of festive fun along the way.
Whatever personalities you have got in your team, remember, Christmas is the season of goodwill and the workplace celebration is an opportunity to fully demonstrate generosity of spirit, goodwill to all colleagues and foster an atmosphere of inclusivity. Happy Christmas.