Hola! I know, the reason for your navigation here is either due to #travel or due to #work. See I gotcha!

If you are an aspiring traveler or a work-bee, well this blog is customized only for you. As an appraisal goal or a learning mandate, has your boss ever assigned you a soft skill or a behavioral training. Are you keen on building a powerful resume? Are you appearing for interviews? Are you tired of running through the mundane rat race?

Take a break. Plan a vacation. Book your tickets. Pack your bags. Explore the wilderness.

Travel experiences are far more educative than the soft skill-training sessions.

Wondering how? Well, travelling comes with a bunch of learning cookies that every foodie (read as working professionals) has to binge on,

  1. Negotiation skills

You never learn unless you experience it. At workplace too, we need to learn to settle down with our differences and compromise on an agreement. Avoiding conflicts and achieving a win-win situation is a prowess.

You do not get what you do not ask for. Remember, the famous jingle of Tata Sky says, “Puchne me kya jata hai” (there is no harm in asking).

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When you travel, all you do is ASK. Chaffer over the extra rupees for the auto ride. Save a few dollars over street shopping. Earn amazing deals. Pull off discounts. Exactly, this is where your skills conceive.

Negotiate. Do not just settle.

  1. Planning

Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you do not have a business plan, it is like going to an unknown destination without a direction.

At work too, planning is the most crucial project management and time management technique. It is not only the to-do lists and spreadsheets, but also turning the dreams into action.

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Imagine, you have just 2 days of leaves in your bucket and you wish to utilize a week’s vacation by adjusting and planning your travel during holidays and long weekends.

Well, if you have executed this, you have mastered the art of successful planning.

As Murphy says, “One person’s lack of planning is always another person’s emergency”.

  1. Time Management and Flexibility

Either you run the day, or the day runs you. Focusing on the precedency tasks and staying less distracted with the unwanted issues is the key. Prioritize. Focus. Delegate. Moreover, do not forget to reward yourself.

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It is generally considered that the employee, who spends more hours in office, works the most. However, according to researchers, the employee who arrives and leaves on time is the most productive and highly appraised employee.

As mentioned in A.P.J Kalam Sir’s blogpost, “Leaving office on time indicates you are efficient; you have a good social life and quality family life. Whereas leaving office late or staying back for more hours than required, implies you are not a hardworking person. Instead, you are a fool who does not know how to manage tasks within stipulated time.

In the end, it is not how busy you are, it is how productive you have been.

Who wants to miss the first rays of the sun on the mountain summit? Even a minute late, would result in unfavorable weather conditions and you might have to descend immediately. Hence, travelling helps you to prioritize tasks. You learn to altercate your plans even with delayed flights, missed buses, and low budget.

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Travelling trains you to be flexible, adapt to last minute alterations (if any), and manage time effectively. That is how we face the challenging deadlines and react to improvise on unexpected and dynamic situations.

  1. Communication skills

According to James Humes, The Art of Communication Is the Language of Leadership. Workplace diversity and international business often leads to communication barriers. Imagine the ineffectiveness in understanding the requirements of an international customer, when you are not willing to adapt to learn new languages. This not only disappoints your boss, but also loses your chance for an onsite opportunity. Your non-verbal skills too, are put to test during those critical seminars and presentations.

Successful communication depends on cultural exchange. There is always a moment when you arrive at a new destination, and you are baffled with their linguistic complexities. Nevertheless, you tend to learn the primary words that help you survive in the alien land. Your non-verbal skills are put to test when the language is unknown. You master the art of expressions and gestures. You become a better listener, more compassionate human being and better at communicating.

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Remember, what Peter Drucker once said, “The most important thing in Communication Is to Hear What Isn’t Being Said. Any example better than travel? Nah!

  1. Appreciation and Humility

We are always thankful to our family and friends, but how often do we thank our colleagues? Do you make others feel appreciated? Acknowledging and admitting that your success depends on your team, makes you a great leader. Satisfaction and motivation follows appreciation. A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

A simple Thank You or Good Morning not only to your boss but also to the security guards, the housekeeping staff and the sweepers, work wonders. Try it. You will feel better.

Research in the January 2014 issue of the Administrative Science Quarterly found that managers who exhibit traits of humility—such as seeking feedback and focusing on the needs of others—resulted in better employee engagement and job performance.
(Research Courtesy – FastCompany)

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Your humble gestures can change someone’s perception. In addition, travelling makes you realize that you are very tiny speck in this great universe.

I remember an incident where I was travelling with a friend in a remote locality (Trincomalee, Sri Lanka) too late for girls to hunt for a restaurant. Nevertheless, we approached an old woman in a hut and enquired about any food arrangements nearby. To our surprise, she welcomed us and fed us with whatever she had in her house. We were captivated by her hospitality. I realized, people are more connected by similarities than differences. Meet people and experience it yourself.

I Speak To Everyone In The Same Way, Whether He Is The Garbage Man Or The President.
– Albert Einstein

  1. Independence and Adaptability

The only thing constant is change. It is up to you to be adaptable. With rapid changes in technology, society and infrastructure, companies need employees who are flexible to new ideas and adaptable to challenges.

Getting lost in woods, accommodating last minute change in plans, sudden change in weather, terrifying natural calamity, theft or robbery and so on are the critical situations for travelers. Travelling teaches you to survive independently in minimal resources. Even an extra pair of handkerchief adds on to the weight of your bag (especially while trekking in Himalayas). That is when you learn to outlast with minimal resources. Less is more. Trust me, it works!

If you can adapt, you can survive. In addition, you will be able to tackle emergencies at work like a server crash, a fire breakdown, a dynamic delegation of work, and so on. It makes sense that the more independent employee, able to work alone, should be the best choice for an organisation.

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93% HRs say technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills. Well, soft skills, which can be learnt only by experience, is more powerful than technical skills.  Although, soft skills are greatly undervalued during our academics, it is an essential teacher for life.

If you want to change your life, do it now.

Sometimes ‘Later’ becomes ‘Never’.

Work. Save. Travel. Repeat.

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