In your company, there is that one person that you really dislike. Unpleasant, rude, etc… It is really hard for you to bear him at the office. And then, something awful happens: you’re both chosen to go on a business trip together.
And because you care about keeping your job, and because you’re a grown-up, you have no other choice than agreeing to go.
1 – Evaluate your travel companion
Travelling with a colleague means travelling with someone you know and see on an every-day basis. And yet, you don’t really know the person, only his/her “at-work” personality.
Outside the office, he/she could unveil him/herself.
What if your colleague happened to be a decent person, which you could actually appreciate?
2 – Don’t seat next to each other
The best would be to travel on separate planes or trains. But for logistic or pecuniary reasons, it is sometimes impossible to do so.
Then what can you do?
Let him book first. This will prevent him from choosing the option ” sitting next to … .”
If you’re not in charge of the reservation, talk about it with the person who is. If you trust her, explain to this person the situation. Maybe she can help.
3 – Only talk about work
What’s worse than listening to all the details of the personal life of someone you do not like?
That she asks you about yours.
To avoid it, offer to move you forward on current files, prepare meetings, etc …
Take regular breaks, alone (onboard bar, etc …) . And be clear about the fact that you don’t want to share about your personal life.
When a question is too personal, indicate that you prefer not to respond.
Anyhow remain polite, remember: you’re talking to a colleague.
4 – Avoid face-to-face moments
Bring other people for meals.
Book an apartment for three persons rather than two.
To sum up: always be with other people.
5 – Make efforts
Think about the fact that it could have been worse. You might have been staying alone at the office, with him, while everyone is on a trip.
Also, remember that you are in a professional setting. We do not ask you to enjoy your traveling companion but to work with it efficiently.