So many companies reward their top people with a trip. Destination: Hawaii, Mexico, Sonoma or somewhere exotic that feels like a getaway. Earlier this year, I even saw a bunch of top medical sales professionals in Park City, Utah enjoying a club retreat (as we were on day 10 of a family road trip).
We usually go into these trips with an attitude of, “Oh, good – I deserve it,” and we go, and we just tune out. It could be a missed opportunity to expand your network, connect with others and even influence team members and leaders. Whether you’re heading off on an incentive trip, a club retreat for high performers (like yourself), or if you’re jetting off to a mid-year kickoff event, these work trips offer a huge opportunity.
Here are three tips:
- Ask Questions. This applies to everyone – whether you’re the boss or you’re getting the chance to talk to your boss. Anticipate the chance to ask (and answer) a couple of questions. It’s easy for leaders to hear these questions and jump to solutions. This tip is especially for leaders! It’s easy to get defensive or quickly try to pull out a solution when you’re put on the spot. Instead, ask more questions. Get to know the person and the problem even better.
- Network. If you haven’t read Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone, go ahead and take that with you on the plane to bone up on some key tips for planning ahead and maximizing those moments out of the office with your colleagues. You might not have another chance to connect with your peers and other leaders until you need their support on a big initiative or need them to cover for you with an important client. Don’t forget to connect the dots.
- Consider your message. Are you taking the stage or grabbing the mic at one of these big events? Remember, even these casual events and off-sites are incredible opportunities to inspire and motivate your team toward something bigger and for you to stand out. Take a moment to Grid™ your remarks (download a copy here) – it’ll be worth it.
There’s a reason your company invests in these reward trips to strengthen and recognize great team culture and performance. Make sure you are taking full advantage of the value they present to you.
Oh – and have fun.