Its that time of year again when families and friends gather to exchange gifts and feast on food and wine. Here’s a take on an old, but favorite, Christmas song to help you navigate the parties ahead.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me….
12 Palms Uplifted – If you’re asking for help with decorations or even offering a drink, use a "palms up" gesture instead of a "palms down" gesture. You'll give an impression of being more open and inviting, and less like you're giving a command.
11 Introductions – If you want to be an awesome host, this is the best thing you should be saying all night: “Hey, have you met _____? I would love to introduce you!” The second best thing to be saying all night: “Can I get you more food/drink?” Connect as many people as possible and make sure they’re comfortable with food and drink. Your guests will feel at ease and cared for.
10 Fingers Tented - Tenting your fingers in a steeple makes you appear more thoughtful and powerful when you speak. Tent your fingers when sharing your insight on a situation where you want your viewpoint to be taken seriously.
9 Ladies Drinking – Nothing makes people feel more at ease than a drink in their hand and food nearby. Have drinks out and food that guests can grab instantly. Offer people something fun to start. Try hot apple cider or hot cocoa, fun mixed drinks or varieties of wine. People get excited and feel cherished when you ask, “Would you like some spiced hot cocoa or a glass of cabernet?”
8 Eyebrows Lifting - Raised eyebrows are a good indication of surprise. A genuine look of surprise lasts only a few seconds before fading into another expression – hopefully joy when they open their gifts!
7 Awkward Moments – The biggest mistakes hosts make is assuming people will have fun doing the same thing the entire night. Studies show that people remember the best and worst moments of an event. If you don’t have anything planned, this can often create a series of worst moments, such as: Not knowing who to talk to; having an awkward conversation with someone you barely know, not knowing where to sit or eat, not having enough to eat or drink, and looking at their watch and wondering when it would be ok to leave. You want to focus on peak moments that get people surprised, laughing or learning something. For example, reveal a special dessert or cocktail, play a game, watch a funny video, share an interesting story, or present an awesome toast!
6 Eyes-A-Smiling – You can tell a genuine smile from a fake one by looking at a couple of indicators. Genuine smiles happen in the eyes, which crinkle up at the corners showing the crows feet. The mouth draws up toward the ears and not straight backward. When in doubt, just keep the description of Santa in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. “His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples so merry!"
5 Cold Shoulders - If you want to make your presence felt, aim your torso and feet towards the person you’re talking with. It brings warmth and a deep presence to the interaction. Don't chat over your shoulder. This time of year the weather is cold enough, no need to display frigid body language.
4 Eyes Gazing - When in a conversation, focus on their pupils. Look for the colors and hold the gaze for a few seconds. It will give you the deep soul searching eye contact that is absolutely fantastic. A hormone is released called PEA that goes gushing through your blood stream and theirs. It is the hormone that creates the phenomena, Love at First Sight. So clearly, don’t over do it, but it can be clearly effective .
3 Power Zones - Remember to keep all three of your power zones: neck, torso and hips, unobstructed at all times. Open body language conveys emotional openness. Blocking these power zones blocks your power. If you need to be reminded, just look at a gingerbread man cookie!
2 Open Arms - Consider this, if Scrooge had his arms folded, he wouldn’t have been able to carry Tiny Tim on Christmas Day! Crossed arms, clutching a drink in front of your stomach, or checking a phone in front of your chest are all ways we close our body language and seem unavailable. Show people you want to connect by keeping your arms open, holding your drink off to the side and putting the cell phone away during the party.
And a Smile that Lights Up a Pear Tree - A genuine smile brings warmth to your interactions, makes you more personable and memorable. It also triggers the reward center of your brain, which boosts your mood and confidence. And because of empathy mirrors, when you smile, the people you’re conversing with will likely smile, too.
A smile - what a wonderful gift to give to another.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!