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Tips About Business Trip
Traveling with men
Should you let male co-workers carry your bags? Or for that matter, open doors for you, hail cabs, and assume all the niceties that traditionally were the realm of the male? And what about hotel arrangements? Is it proper to invite your male co-worker to your room to prepare for meetings? Or go to his room?
Perhaps your company is virtually egalitarian and co-workers are truly "enlightened." You get equal pay for equal work and you aren't expected to bring your boss coffee.
But once out of the office environment, things get muddy. Many businesswomen have reported that when they travel with a male co-worker, their professional relationship becomes confusing and often uncomfortable. Exacerbating the situation are the reactions you may get, from hotel staff, waiters, and others who may assume you and your travel partner are a couple.
Although awkward situations are bound to come up (the hotel books you and your boss in the same room), you'll diminish a lot of the discomfort simply by remembering that you're "at work," and you should act as if you were at the office, whether you're having a late dinner in a restaurant or entertaining clients at a cocktail hour.
React to basic courtesies with grace. For instance, if your male co-worker volunteers to carry your bags, by all means accept the assistance if you need it. You can certainly reciprocate these acts of kindness. For example, you might offer to arrange transportation with the concierge or fax off a report your office is expecting.
You'll probably be eating most meals with your male co-worker. To reduce discomfort (when he always pays, you feel like you're on a date), you might suggest a plan for covering costs—you get the check one time, he gets the check the next. To underline the business nature of your relationship, try to accomplish some sort of business during the meal. Pull out, your day planner and confirm the next day's schedule, for example. If possible, avoid those intimate little restaurants with candles and romantic ambiance when you make dinner plans. You don't need some violinist serenading you with "Lara's Theme," as other diners look on approvingly. Also, keep an eye on your liquor consumption.
Hotel-room meetings? It's best, to avoid them. Most likely, neither you nor your travel partner are likely to be carried away with passion simply because two of you are in the vicinity of a bed. But it's wisest to keep your "business face" on in every situation. Most hotels offer plenty of quiet corners in lobbies where you can meet. Many even have private rooms or cubicles with meeting spaces and office equipment.
People are often on their most charming behavior while on the road. Don't succumb to the moment and spoil an otherwise good business relationship. Use the same techniques you use at home to fend off Romeos. Do a reality check on your own feelings, as well.