It’s going to happen sooner or later - you, your boss, and a few rounds at the local pub. If played right, this age old tradition between the company head and subordinate could land you forever in your boss’s good graces. The goal here is to solidify your working relationship with your fearless leader over a few cocktails, without getting sloshed and turning the evening into a string of embarrassing events. Here are some tips to help you seize opportunity a drinking session with the higher ups can lend.
Respect is key: be sure to maintain a level of professionalism at all times during the engagement. For example, excuse yourself if you go to use the loo, fetch the first round and address your boss as you would in the office. Getting too comfortable too quickly can offend so keep it simple.
2. Keep the Personals to a Minimum
Having a few cocktails can sometimes encourage us to offer a bit too much personal information. When having a pint with the CEO, try to keep from talking about personal issues such as your love life. There is a time and a place to talk affectionately about your new crush and this is not one of them.
3. Know Your Limits
This rule is probably the most important. If you feel yourself feeling a bit too giddy, you should probably tone it down. Staying in control throughout the evening is key. As we drink, we tend to lower our inhibitions which can lead to some interesting and thoughtful communication between you and the boss, so it’s ok to get a little loose, but not inebriated.
4. Focus on Key Points
Before heading out, decide on three major talking points you would like to focus on during conversation. Throughout the evening, be sure to spread out these points as the conversation progresses; reference different aspects of these focal points to reinforce them. For example, if you enjoyed working on your last project, say so. In order to reinforce this point, be sure to include why you enjoyed it, individuals you worked on the project with, and how the experience may have helped you to become better at your job. Try to keep negative points to a minimum, but follow your boss’s lead; he or she may open the door to discuss these types of topics so stay alert to a possible lead in.
5. Remember, a Bar Stool Isn't a Bargaining Table
Your boss asked you out for drinks to chew the fat, not discuss your salary. Unless it is specifically stated beforehand, try not to induce a discussion regarding your pay or possible promotion. Initiating this type of discussion while in a relaxing setting could cause your boss to shut down, robbing you of a stellar opportunity to gain insight into your boss’s interests, concerns, and mannerisms.
See Also: 10 Professional Christmas Pitfalls
Having a drink with your company head offers you the chance to show you can be calm, cool, and collected in just about any environment. Allow yourself the room to become relaxed, to be interested, and to be interesting; provide your boss with an inside look at how you operate in a more lax setting. Remember to maintain professionalism at all times and use this opportunity to gain important insights about your boss, and above all enjoy yourself - but not too much, drunkenness could earn you a pink slip come Monday morning.