Your Five-Step Plan to Getting Gala-Ready!

It’s happened to all of us. After almost two years of remote work, canceled events and social distancing, our interpersonal skills are a bit out of tune. Add to that the new complexities of interactions – Are we hugging, shaking hands, elbowing, fist-bumping or waving from across the room?? – and it is enough to make one feel like an awkward pre-teen on the first day of junior high. As the EFBC Community looks forward to finally celebrating our 25th anniversary together at our >25 Gala in May, for many of us that means swapping our now de facto sweats and slippers for bow ties, formal dress and heels. Certainly, we need a five-step program to prepare for that level of social re-entry! And perhaps help us fine-tune those lapsed interpersonal skills and habits along the way.

Step 1: Put on “hard pants” that have an actual button and zipper as opposed to the comfort of elastic.

Remote work and socializing via Zoom can be a challenge for communication but it has been a definite plus for comfy work attire. Some scientists, however, tell us that “enclothed cognition” or the psychological effects of clothing do show that dressing can improve productivity. So, start getting Gala-ready by putting a blazer or jacket on over that Zoom-ready t-shirt (but go ahead and keep the sweats!)

Step 2: Put on shoes that tie or have a heel and walk around – even dare to walk outside!

Yes, we know it is winter in Chicagoland and for some of us, that means a desire to hibernate until May – especially now that many of us can work from home. But here again, science encourages us to get outside daily. Just a few moments of fresh air can perk up a tired brain and reduce stress levels. Now, if we can remember how to walk in heels!

Step 3: Have a conversation with someone you are not related to. Or don’t work with. Or who is not your pet.

Here is where a community like EFBC makes a world of difference. For our members and Forum groups, their conversations and meetings have been a lifeline during the last two years. Maintaining – and growing – friendships and relationships remains a vital part of having a healthy business and healthy life.

Step 4: Practice balancing a glass and an appetizer plate in one hand while eating with the other.

No one talks about the physicality of socializing, especially for those of us who may be “co-ordination challenged”! Physical exercise is another of those habits we need to keep in our daily routine. And practice makes perfect for mingling at the Gala in May! While a personal trainer might not think eating dinner with your family while walking around your house as if at an event is a workout, we think it counts.

Step 5: Brush up on those dance moves.

It’s been a while since many of us have boogied on a real dance floor. But a kitchen floor makes the perfect space to perfect your signature move – especially in heels! Once again, science tells us that dancing isn’t only fun, but it’s a great way to improve your mood and relieve stress. Whether you’re a professional moonwalker or two-stepper, start practicing now so you are Gala-ready to dance the night away.

Following the above advice will undoubtedly prepare you for our >25 Gala!