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October 5, 2006

Holiday Office Etiquette: 3 Survival Tips

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Problem #2: The Office Party

You feel awkward relaxing around colleagues. How to survive the bash?

Show up. Just being there is 80 percent of success, says Jacqueline Whitmore, author of Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work.

Eat, drink and mingle - it shows you're a team player. Hold your glass in your left hand and stick to neat foods so you're always ready to shake hands. Abstain from more than two drinks to ensure good behavior. Talk to as many people as you can, especially if you don't know them. But avoid work questions - you're at a party!

Dance. If the company spent money on a band or DJ, your boss is hoping people will get down. Try to wait for the host to begin dancing - and to set the appropriate style - just as you'd wait for her to begin a meal, says Cindy Grosso, founder of the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette.

Stay at least 30 minutes to an hour and make sure people see you. "When you do leave, don't just slip out; say good-bye to the hosts and thank them graciously," Grosso says.

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