Question: Why Traveling Is the Best Form of Education for Top Management
According to the research conducted in 2014 by Harris/Eventbrite, 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience or event than buying something desirable.
But even if you aren’t one of those millennials and prefer things to experience, we still encourage you to rethink your options. While traveling might seem like a time-consuming thing or at least like a non-primary activity to some of the top managers, it could actually benefit you both in a personal and in a professional way.
So let’s focus on why traveling can and should be considered one of the best forms of education for top managers.
1. It improves language skills.
Now you might know a certain foreign language well enough – but does it always mean you can speak it well if an opportunity appears?
A strong knowledge of a certain language doesn’t necessarily make you a fluent speaker. Moreover, even if you were able to speak this language fluently before, this still doesn’t mean that your skills remain just as impressive to this day. In most cases, you need to practice to speak a foreign language well enough, to know all the nuances, and to sound natural. Traveling allows you to do so – after all, communication with the native speakers is the best practice.
2. It teaches you how to communicate better.
Communication is not only about knowing how to formulate your thoughts, how to write a great cover letter in order to impress your potential employer, or remember all the details of business etiquette – it’s also about the impression you make. In order to make the right impression, you need to be able to control yourself – your behavior, your body language, and so on.
Of course, it could be very hard, especially when the surroundings are familiar and comforting. If you travel, however, the circumstances become much more challenging as you need to overcome cultural differences and language barriers to get along with people. If you travel to countries where the culture is very different from your own, you also need to be mindful of your gestures and body language. It might sound surprising, but it actually improves your ability to communicate and network with people not only during travels but in work and personal life as well.
3. It teaches you how to adapt.
The bigger the business is, the more challenging it is. Plans change, projects fail, people leave, new employers appear, crises strike – and top managers need to handle these things as quickly and effectively as they can. You need to be flexible and adapt fast in order to do so. But how can you build those skills?
With the help of traveling, of course. In some ways, it could be just as unpredictable as the business is. The flights get delayed, you need to make your own travel routes, to make people understand you, to find your bags if they get lost, and so on. The good news is that even if you fail to do something, the consequences will be less dreadful than the ones in the business. But no matter if you fail or succeed, you’ll often find yourself in situations when you need to come up with the best possible decision fast. This teaches you how to adapt and allows to use this experience to handle similar situations in business.
4. It makes you more productive.
Travels are one of the best ways to relieve stress and to become healthier (though the second is hardly true when you travel to world’s biggest capitals). Assuming that your trip somewhere isn’t business-related, you probably get enough sleep, go for walks, and forget about work for some time. The therapists even recommend leaving your gadgets in your hotel room during your vacation as this will allow you to relax more.
But even if you do take your phone with you, there’s still a pretty big chance that you’ll relax a lot during your vacation. You’ll recharge your batteries during this trip and so will be able to perform even more effectively when you return. Moreover, most likely, you’ll de-stress as well, becoming more relaxed and more capable of focusing on certain tasks as the result.
That’s why traveling somewhere isn’t simply a new experience or a way to relax – it’s also an investment in your future career and the opportunity to strengthen some of your skills as well. So if you feel like you want to challenge yourself a bit and become a better worker, find some time to travel somewhere during the year. It will definitely benefit you!