The office party is perhaps dreaded and anticipated in equal measure.
Some people look forward to letting their hair down with their colleagues whilst others dread the mere prospect; for them, the office party is an ordeal.
Here’s some good advice on ‘how not to behave at the office party‘ (Forbes). But have a heart for those that have made it happen. It takes all sorts to put on a successful office party, from party animals and creative thinkers to bean counters and organisers. A real hotch pitch of personalities and talent – not unlike the inhabitants of the 100 Acre Wood.
Picture the scene at the 100 Acre Wood Christmas party
Tigger is the office entertainer. He is the first on the dance floor showing off his moves and he’s last out of the door. Rabbit, being the creative one, has organised the band and spent hours decorating the venue. And Pooh Bear is there helping out wherever he is needed (whilst keeping an eye out for honey at every turn). Eeyore however, is the glue that pulls the entire evening together. He will keep track of the budget, ensure the band have a place to relax before their set starts and whilst the other party goers stagger off at the end of the evening, Eeyore will ensure that the mess is cleared up, glasses returned to the hire company, and the band receive their payment. It’s true to say, that without Eeyore, the 100 Acre Wood Christmas party will run far less smoothly.
There are Tigger’s, Rabbits and Pooh Bears in every business
These different personality traits are essential to have in a team as they complement each other in different ways and lend themselves as a whole to an overall balanced approach in business. At some point we have all worked with a detail-orientated, sometimes tactless but hardworking manager. I have frequently come across enthusiastic, competitive salesmen with tendencies to both exaggerate and leave out essential facts. And in every business environment you will generally find a quiet, softly spoken person, who hates conflict and has difficulty making firm decisions.
Amid this often chaotic mix of personalities in life and business, there needs to be an island of predictability that is Eeyore. Yes, he may be highly critical, overly meticulous and will frustratingly cross all the t’s and dot every single i. He will quite possibly annoy the hell out of the more animated personalities in the room, with his long winded, painstakingly slow approach to finding out the right way to get something done. But his unerring sense of order, his analytical skills, and the persistence to get the job done, are gifts that should not be ignored.
Given the opportunity to understand how his oftentimes painstaking and pedantic ways affect his colleagues, and then given the tools and encouragement to make positive changes, Eeyore could be perceived very differently. With a different communication style alone, his valuable contributions to the team would be recognised as beneficial and potentially indispensible. Perhaps all he needs is a bit of feedback to make him aware of the value of his working style and the problems in his communication style.
So cut the Eeyore’s around you some slack. While the Tigger’s of this world will frequently cause chaos and leave carnage in their wake….the Eeyore’s will bring a sense of order and calm to the mayhem they leave behind.
Who’s who in your world of work? Does your team need a bit more harmony to get 2015 off to a good start? If so, do get in touch.
In the meantime, have a very Happy Christmas!