How often do you try to meet new people when you travel?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How often do you try to meet new people when you travel?

  • Very: planes, lounges and hotels are great places to meet new people: 18.0%
  • Sometimes: I’ll occasionally make an effort to meet new people: 40.1%
  • Not very: I’d rather keep to myself most of the time: 32.3%
  • Not at all: leave me alone: 9.6%

Networking opportunities abound. Look around you when you travel for work. You’ll notice many people who look like you. They’re business travelers too. Meeting them could create great new opportunities for you in the form of customers, partners, employees or future employers. But you have to make the effort to meet them. There are many examples of great connections to be made while traveling. All it takes to get started is a polite “hello” or a simple offer of assistance. The vast majority of you report that you don’t take these steps to expand your network. You could be missing out on your next big opportunity. Next time you travel, offer a kind greeting and introduce yourself to someone new. At the very worst, it will make the world a friendlier place.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."