Home » Travel Tip Tuesday #33 – Be Careful with Public Conversations on Work Trips
Travel Tip Tuesday #33 - Be Careful with Public Conversations on Work Trips

Travel Tip Tuesday #33 – Be Careful with Public Conversations on Work Trips

by Jeremy B

Once, while traveling to a popular trade show in my industry, I happened to being sitting directly behind my competition in the first class cabin on my plane. As the flight progressed it became clear they were having strategic business conversations and were totally unaware that I was the competition. They were about to lay out their entire strategy. So…what did I do? Read on, below, to find out.

For the month of September we are focusing on Business Traveler Safety. Each Tuesday we will do a deep dive into some element related to traveling safer for work. Be sure to read all of the preceding Travel Tip Tuesday’s here. 

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Travel Tip Tuesday #33 – Be Careful with Public Conversations when Traveling for Work

As noted in the opening paragraph I was presented with a golden opportunity to learn some incredibly valuable inside scoop from a competitor. Of course, and because it was the right thing to do, I did not capitalize on this opportunity. Instead, I tapped one of them on the shoulder and let them know I was their competition and that they probably didn’t want me to overhear the conversation.

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They were flabbergasted. And incredibly grateful that I let them know. Sure, I could have learned something valuable that day, but it wasn’t right in my book and by letting them know I was within earshot I not only did the right thing, but I also earned some credibility within the industry.

I was also reminded how very important it is to be careful with public conversations when traveling for work. 

You never know who is listening in which is why it’s so important to be incredibly cautious with any public conversations you have. Be aware who is within ear shot – and if it is something sensitive, then delay the conversation or have it in hushed tones.

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This is especially important in areas like hotel lobbies, airplanes and even airports. How many times have you heard one side of a conversation from a fellow traveler with ear buds in as they strategize about a client or a deal or who’s getting fired.

Sure, sometimes those conversations are innocuous and let’s face it, context is usually needed to really understand what’s being discussed, but it is still prudent to be aware of your surrounding when having public conversations. But, if you are the guy wearing the Scott’s Turf Builder Polo Shirt and you are loud talking through a conf call next to the guy who happens to work for the competition it’s not hard to get context.

Also…don’t be a loud talker. YOU. ARE. ANNOYING. 🙂

Here is some practical Travel Gear to make your next trip safer:


Thanks for reading this week

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Travel Tip Tuesday #33 Be sure to Be Careful with Public Conversations on Work Trips

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1 comment

Ron September 3, 2019 - 11:13 pm

You didn’t gain any credibility – you were a schmuck. Not your responsibility to tell people you can hear their conversation. Like the WaPo reporter who was eating lunch next to Trump’s attorneys (in a restaurant adjacent to the WaPo no less) – he – properly – used the info he learned in a public setting.


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