It was around may last year that Bilhatu’s boss had given her an opportunity to travel saying that she needed it as she wasn’t stepping up to her games in the business. He had instructed her to travel for a Real Estate conference in South Africa, so she could come back and add more life to the business like she used to.
Bilhatu works for a top real estate firm in Abuja. She was made the General Manager within a short period because she handled the real estate business like it was her business, as her boss wasn’t always around. But her boss had told her of her recent lapses in certain areas which were affecting the firm.
It was also obvious she was worn out, as she wasn’t bringing fresh ideas into the business. There seem to be no more backup plans in case of crises. The worst part was her sudden impatience with the clients. She hardly took time to hear them out, and she was reluctant to do business with clients in other states or outside of the country, as she felt it the back and forth was too many, thereby increasing stress,
Then there was the issue of jumping to conclusions without thorough investigations.
All these led to a decrease in clients, and a reduction in revenue.
However, her boss realized she had always been effective, converting passive clients to paid clients, bringing in creative ideas that help shoot up revenue as well as help the other staff fire up their creativity to help move the company forward.
Bilhatu was expecting to be fired. She knew it was possible, especially as she had not been herself. So imagine her surprise when her boss called and asked her to take a break off work and prepare for a conference in South Africa. There was going to be a gathering of real estate businessmen and women. He explained as he wanted her to be the company’s representative.
This up-coming conference had a lot of big shots in the attendance list. The list made Bilhatu’s eyes roll in disbelief. How on earth did her boss get them in that list?
She was going to ask, but he didn’t let her. He only asked that she prepared for her trip, while he steps in and runs the firm.
It was a pleasant surprise Bilhatu was sure she’d never recover from. She rushed home and started to prepare for the conference of the year.
Three days later, she was on an Arik Air flight to South Africa, where she lodged at Mojo Hotel, located at 30 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town. The hotel had already been reserved by her boss. The relaxed atmosphere and workload off her shoulders for a while was bliss. Life was great again, and she could think clearly.
Bilhatu had a very sound sleep that night and woke up with relaxed brains and enough zeal to get her through the day’s conference. But upon arrival at the venue, she realized there really was no conference on-going. In fact, the venue didn’t look like a conference venue. Her one week stay in South Africa was actually a one week vacation for relaxation and sight-seeing with real estate agents from all over the world. It was an experience that was for the sharing of ideas among the tourists, learning what works and what doesn’t in the South African Real Estate industry, and so much more.
This experience openedBilhatu’s eyes to the following:
- Renewed Love for Home, Work and People she left behind. As much as she was having a good time in a classy hotel and with fellow real estate gurus, she missed the little luxuries home offered, as well as her work. Her change of mood from stressed and foul to happy and positive also helped build friendly interactions with the others and they had meaningful discussions that helped influence and improve each other’s personal outlook on life, work, friends, and family.
- Experiencing new cultures. Experiencing new cultures helped lighten her mood, and there were times she caught new creative ideas about people’s lifestyle and how if implemented back home, can help boost the company’s business. These lifestyles include their values, beliefs, food, dance, music, language and so much more.
Opening herself to a new culture helped break the limits around her thoughts, open her heart to different clients, and her communication with them
- Improved communication
Being in a foreign country means she had to work on her communication so as to be able to get along with the people. Since the Nigerian English and pronunciation is different in so many ways, re-working her communication without the slangs and pidgin English helped refine her communication with her new friends, and back home.
Also, one of the realtors in their group told them all a story of how good communication had helped his client base grow, understanding that certain words may irk the next person, even though they were said innocently. Improved communications helped build his customer relations and aided sales.
- History lessons
Some of these vacation destinations helped with history lessons that Bilhatu will never forget. And some of these history lessons made her think deeply and work very hard towards the kind of legacy she knew she’d love to leave behind.
- Understanding and providing solutions for new problems
Mixing in a foreign land, having an adventure as well as just a relaxation in the beach, a restaurant, an outdoor picnic, helped boost Bilhatu’s creative level. It helped her see the problems in the company, as well as their solutions.
Having her creative level boosted all round, helped her remain in the perfect mood for execution and improvement.
Being in the company of people who were into real estate business, Bilhatu didn’t waste time to exchange ideas and contact details with them, as well as extend a hand of partnership to a few of them. They discussed working together on certain land and housing project in different countries, including Nigeria.
This was certainly going to give her and the company more exposure and more clients. And when foreigners come into Nigeria to buy lands where they’d raise their business structures, they’d come to her, because they would be directed to her by these new partners.
After a week, Bilhatu was happy to return home and to work. She had written down a series of ideas and prompts that came to her during her vacation, including the way landed properties are managed and used in building the country’s tourism and revenue. She was loaded and ready to implement all she had learned.
From her first day at work, the difference was clear. Her boss and the employees noticed a new zeal and passion that wasn’t there before. But it wasn’t until their regular weekly meeting that they understood the new ideas that had come back with Bilhatu and discussed ways on how to execute them.
While everyone including her boss, didn’t fail to tell her she was glowing from the inside out, her communication level with employees and clients had improved greatly.
She has been able to take interactions to another level by studying other employees and clients. She was able to handle impromptu issues effectively and in everyone’s interest, making the employees emulate her strong organizational culture which resulted in great teamwork and advancing the firm to a greater height. She could tell that her exposure to different cultures in a very short time gave her a competitive edge.
Bilhatu’s networking paid off, as she had access to unlimited resources and a vast network of international clients who didn’t fail to send clients her way or invite her for seminars, outreaches and partnership meetings.
Traveling gives you a better edge over your competitions, be it in the workplace, or in business. And if you can afford it, ensure you send your employees abroad for foreign training or vacation. Their exposure will greatly help your business.
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend. Cheers!