7 Office Holiday Party Conversation Starters to Beat Networking Fears

While your annual office holiday party might not fill you with holiday cheer, there's no reason to fear. Introverts and extroverts alike dislike networking, but the relationships you cultivate are priceless and there's no getting around that. Office holiday parties are a wonderful time to get together with everyone in your company, find common space and joy through the holidays. Worried about having nothing to say to your boss? Or your boss' boss? With a little prep and our office holiday party conversation starters, you'll be ready to celebrate the holidays and your company's success with anyone that comes your way.

1.Get Personal

The office holiday party is a great time to get in touch with the personal side of your colleagues. This is especially true if it's a family office holiday party. Either way, take the time to ask people about their kids, their next vacation, or their beloved pets. Family is what the holidays are all about after all! Did someone recently get married or buy a house? Check in to see how it's going. When you show that you really care about people and are interested in them, your relationship will grow.

2. Chat with the Early Birds

You know that one colleague who's always first in the office and entirely too peppy for the early hour? Get to know their secrets! If someone's impressed you, take the time to mention it and ask just how they do it. It could be anything from presentation skills to their determination to work out during lunch hour. Talk about what you've observed with honest curiosity and you might just make a new friend. Not only will you have some great office holiday party conversation starters, you'll also learn something that might make you change your own habits.


3. Reminisce on Business Trips

Have a blast traveling to another city with your colleagues? Bring up fond memories and maybe even score yourself a spot on the next trip. Did you enjoy dinner out on the town or a hilarious joke in the boardroom? Connecting with people over shared memories is a big part of strengthening relationships. You probably do this all the time with your good friends. Remember to do this with your work relationships as well and you'll see your connections flourish. Then get ready to pack for your next business trip.

4. Find Out Holiday Plans

One of the easiest office holiday party conversation starters is right in front of you! What are you doing for the holidays? Going out of town? Do you have any family traditions? What about New Year's? Find out what your colleagues are up to and you might even find something you want to do. This is a good trick for any networking event. Use the cues around you to ask relevant questions. If you're interested in getting to know someone and asking questions, they'll be happy to reply.

5. Talk About Creative Pursuits

What do you do in your spare time that people might be interested in? Do you have a blog for your career that relates to an interesting topic? Are you working on a book? Talk about something you enjoy that other people might have an opinion on to get the conversation flowing. Then, think about the creative pursuits of the person you might be talking about. Do they speak on the side? Are they always reading? You can find interesting things to talk about that might not be 100% work-related when you look at what people do for fun.


6. Appreciate the Party Itself

Impressed with the decor? Admiring the appetizers? Take the opportunity to chat with your colleagues who are responsible for the party. You probably have no idea just how much time and effort it took to arrange everything for the celebration. Grab someone from the party planning committee and take the opportunity for some office holiday party conversation starters based on the decor around you. Everybody likes a compliment. Dish yours out like candy canes and you might even come out with a new friend.

7. Gab About What's Next

New Year's is right around the corner. Take this opportunity to reflect on goals smashed and accomplishments to come. Did someone achieve something impressive this year? Talk to them about it. Any resolutions planned for the next year? Now's the time to decide. People like talking about things they're proud of doing. Bring this up and you'll earn brownie points.

What are your best and worst office holiday party memories? Share your side of the story with us in the comments below!