Career Woman

You’ve got this: Too many office social events

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

Question:  My company holds a lot of staff social events. And I mean a real LOT. From team-building weekends to more casual drinks and nibbles on a Friday afternoon … and lots of things in between. But seriously, I already have SO many demands on my time! How can I dodge some of these without seeming like I’m not a team player? Jamila F.

Jamila,

Your office sounds like a happening kind of place!  Wow…kudos to an organization that is interested in building camaraderie with its staff.

With only so many hours in the day, we have to prioritize what is important.  It is about balance.  If you are unable to attend all of the team events, it might be worthwhile to make sure you are strategic in connecting with your co-workers.  Instead of attending the events, is there an intentional way of make sure that you are going to lunch with co-workers periodically to stay in the loop?

Despite the tasks we all must complete, there are often these unannounced social expectations and protocols at our places of employment.  Those are the symbolic situations that are not spoken about but have serious impact because they are so embedded in the culture of the organization.

If attending these events are the norm, you can inform your supervisor/team leader that you can only attend a few quarterly because of other important commitments.  It might be worthwhile to have a conversation with your boss to explain your situation and have some clarity on expectations of your time.

It will also be important to identify which of those events is critical in partnership with your supervisor.  I remember telling a past supervisor that as much as I’d like to participate in all of the additional activities outside of my job, I can’t and so I’d like to discuss what is the most important to the least important activity for my involvement.  Having your boss or some of your co-workers serve as advocates for you in your absence can also be helpful when you are unable to attend.

I don’t believe that It is our job to make everyone happy especially if it is at the expense of our own sanity and peace but there is a way in this instance to create a win-win opportunity for the organization and most importantly, for you.  Have fun, Jamila and know that You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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