Have you ever been on a cruise vacation? I highly recommend it; it’s like no other. You get to travel to all kinds of different places, but only unpack your suitcases once. Ahhhh. Bliss!
Why would you think about business when you’re on vacation?
As a writer/consultant, part of my job is to be observant. That said, during a recent cruise vacation, I decided to watch for specific business applications. Both as it applied to crew/staff and vacationers.
In a previous blog post I mentioned that people are people. It never becomes more evident than when on a 108,977 ton vessel, along with approximately 3,700 other people, representing at least 30 nationalities, who have nowhere to go on sea days. With that picture in mind, here are seven observations from my time on a mini-globe:
- The tone for the organization is set from the top. Like it or not, your leadership sets the example for the entire “ship,” as it were. On this particular trip, the captain’s casual, and somewhat distant, approach to leadership showed throughout the ship. The crew generally had a casual approach to the passengers, and to one another. On other ships, the captain’s time spent with both passengers and crew set the tone for the excellent treatment of guests and crew alike.
- Hydration matters. Wait. What? It’s a documented fact. Staying hydrated allows your brain to more easily solve problems, protects your joints from cartilage damage and pain, and promotes cardiovascular health. Taking care to stay hydrated throughout the day helps you be more effective, and therefore, a better leader.
- Take time to look at things differently. Those passengers who took time to understand how things were done and/or perceived by different cultures walked away with an enriched experience. Sometimes, different culture could simply be dissimilar ages or upbringing. Find out what others, who are different from you, think of proposed changes or what suggestions they may have.
- People will compare previous experiences with other companies to their experience with you. You can’t always compete with others, but you can be the absolute best you can. Be grateful for those who are in front of you at the moment and do everything you can to win their loyalty.
- Your status means nothing if it comes at the cost of someone else’s dignity. I watched a couple who had earned top-tier status with the cruise line cut in front of a woman with disabilities. They seemed to feel it was their right. Thoughtfulness and kindness may cost you a couple minutes, but those extra minutes she didn’t have to stand would have made a significant difference for that disabled woman.
- Deferring to someone else and letting them go ahead of you will bring a smile of gratitude nearly every time, which leads us to our final point…
- A smile and “thank you” are universal. There aren’t usually any barriers when courtesy and friendliness are the languages spoken.
Whether you choose to cruise for your vacations or not, your crew will definitely “see you around the ship.”