On The Road With Your Boss

Even though you're out of the office, its still business

You’re about to embark on a three-day business trip with your boss. To make it a success, keep in mind that “the business trip is an extension of the office and professionalism is key,” advises Sandra Morisset, founder and president of Protocol Training Services in New York. “You are still being observed and evaluated. Therefore, carry your manners with you,” she says. To remain in the good graces of your superiors:

  • Arrive early. Whether you’re sharing a ride by taxi or corporate jet, attending a meeting or going to dinner, don’t make your boss wait.
  • Mr., Ms. or Mrs.? If she is Ms. Smith in the office, she does not become Fran during the trip. Unless told otherwise, stick to protocol.
  • Dress professionally. Your attire should be the same as it would be if you were in the office. Take it up a notch if your office is more casual.
  • Limit the conversation. Follow your boss’ lead. Resist gossiping or asking about personal or confidential company business.
  • Say “yes.” If your superior invites you to dinner, accept. Brush up on your dining etiquette and quickly decide what you want from the menu. The host is the one who picks up the tab.
  • Be kind. Practice common courtesy, and don’t try to throw your weight around. Treat sky caps, flight attendants, hotel personnel and waiters with respect. The words “hello,” “thank you” and “please” can have amazing results.
  • Yin and yang. OK, so your boss is just inherently rude. Send him or her a subliminal message by maintaining your composure and being polite. You’re also representing the company, so set an example.

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