Be Bold, Host a Happy Hour

I have lived in 5 different cities in the past 5 years (yes that’s excessive I know, but I enjoy it). The best way I have found to get to know people and to bring people together is to plan a happy hour. “But I don’t drink!” You may say. My response, “You don’t need to drink alcohol to go to happy hour. You just need to have the willingness to be social over a beverage of your choice.” If you are new in town or new to a company it can be a great ice breaker. So ask around to see if happy hour is a standard occurrence or if there is a good place to have a happy hour.

Hosting a happy hour is more simple than you may think:

  1. Find a bar or restaurant that is close to work, so it is convenient for most people to get to.IMG_6065
    • Tip: Make sure to find a decent size place so your group will be able to sit together, outdoor and indoor space is always a plus.
  2. Find a date that works for you and a few of you coworkers (so you don’t end up alone at a bar/restaurant). Thursday or Friday is usually  best.
    • Tip: If there is a local trivia/game night that is almost always a crowd pleaser (it will also automatically provide common ground).
  3. Send out an email that includes the pertinent information (day, time, location, where you are meeting)
    • Tip: make sure to include your coworkers, but also make sure to state “Feel free to invite anyone I may have forgotten.” That way people feel included and you have an excuse if you missed someone in the office.
    • Invite who you want, this is a time to be social and connect with people so it is ok to invite people from different departments or floors. Warning: it may be awkward to invite supervisors and could create a stressful environment instead of a relaxed environment to get to know people.
    • Do not freak out if you don’t get everyone to come that you invite (or if you only get 1 or 2). Some of the best happy hours I have been to have been with small groups of people.
  4. Follow up with people via email or it can give you an excuse to get out of your cube and talk to people
    •  Tip: You may find a different date works better for the majority and then you can change it or you will know who is coming for a rough head count
  5. Show up prepared to be social – I am naturally an introvert, so it takes me a little while to prep before being ready to be social/bubbly/outgoing at a happy hour or other non-work event.

 

When you are at the happy hour make sure:

  1. To include everyone in conversation by using broad topics and see where the conversation goes (don’t try to control it, but guide it/keep it flowing)
  2. AVOID TALKING ABOUT WORK!
    • This is happy hour not work, so enjoy it!!
  3. Casually gather feedback
    • Did people like the venue
    • Did the mix of people work or will you need to be more selective next time
    • Would people be interested in more happy hours, trivia, or game nights
  4. If it is the first one you are hosting with new people, DO NOT go overboard on the drinks
  5. Relax, be yourself, and have fun!

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“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Nelson Mandela

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