Business travel can be stressful enough on its own, and that stress can be compounded if you happen to be on a business trip with your boss. Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you can plunge into vacation mode, business etiquette author Barbara Pachter warns; the things you say and do can still go down on your permanent company record.
CNN serves up some tips to make your trip with your boss a tad less, well,horrible. And, common sense always helps you to make the right decisions.
Discuss essential details before you leave. Have a talk with your boss before you go, ironing out who will be in charge of scheduling meetings, booking tickets and taking care of payments on the trip. Some bosses like to handle it themselves, while others will leave the details up to you.
Be the early bird. A major faux pas is to leave your boss waiting – at the airport, the hotel, the conference, meetings or anywhere else. Show up ahead of schedule, and make sure you are fully aware of the itinerary. Nothing nosedives your reputation more than asking where you’re supposed to be going.
Sit together unless otherwise advised. If you’re in charge of the plans, ask your boss if you two should sit together. If unsure, always assume you should. Follow your boss’s lead while traveling, only pulling out your magazine or headphones if your boss does the same. Sit with the boss at breakfast or other events if there’s an available seat, as long as your boss isn’t engrossed in reading or a phone conversation.
Be social, but not a font of inappropriate information. While you don’t have to head out to every single group dinner on the schedule, attending at least one of them is a good idea. You may have a chance to meet industry insiders and make important business connections. Be wary of what you say, however, as you don’t want to divulge tasteless or too much information. Only discuss or bring up the same type of topics you’d talk about in the office.
Limit the alcohol. Whether you’re on the clock or not, you’re still on a business trip serving as a representative of your company. Keep your alcoholic drinks in check.
Dress for success. Yes, even on a business trip. Let the events dictate your dress, choosing the most professional clothing for an industry wide audience, more casual wear for people only from your company. And even if you’re heading to Barbados, you may want to leave the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini or Speedo at home.
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