Some of my manager-level clients have asked me lately what's the proper behavior and etiquette for traveling with the boss. Good question... I posed it to the executive ExecuNet members on their forum and got some interesting replies.
View from the bosses:
"I was a CEO and was surprised when people who were normally attentive and very respectful would get into an 'outside' environment and act as if they were with their best friends on weekends. People should be attentive to what is going on. Be considerate and have an understanding that their behavior with other members of the party and 'outsiders' is still very important. Also be punctual, it always helps."
AND this view:
"Some negative things I have seen:
* Poor table manners
* Lack of punctuality for travel
* Pursuit of the opposite sex while still in business company
"In some organizations you are expected to spend a couple hours per evening with your colleagues at and after dinner discussing business, and those who retreat to their room or to exercise are viewed negatively. In other situations, the after-hours are not scripted and you are free to do as you please. It is important to know the difference."
From the manager's perspective:
"I've traveled with a wide variety of bosses over the course of my career. Knowing your boss' habits BEFORE the trip will make your life much easier.
"I tend to over-prepare, which means I am rarely caught off-guard on the professional side of the trip. Also, it is usually 'my' territory, so I know my way around and can make the trip much easier for the boss or anyone else.
"I hope some bosses will also take heed of any tips - I have traveled with at least one who expected everyone else to dance attendance - meet for a leisurely breakfast at 8, when we should have been on the way to the client location before then. I hate being late; my clients know that I am punctual - it's uncomfortable when the boss creates an awkward situation."
It looks like there are two sides to this issue as there are with most issues. An interesting article on this topic is "How to Travel with Your Boss: 7 Tips."
What experience can you share? Please send me your comments.