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Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/You and the boss need to take holiday?

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Question
Could you pls help me with this?

In April, the children will have a three-week holiday and I want to apply for a one-week leave during that period.

I asked my boss once and he said he wants to take leave, too but he does not know which days yet. He supposed to follow it up, but 10 days has passed and nothing happened.

As you can guess, one needs to book hotel and flight early to get cheap price, so I am becoming impatient. But as our relationship is not very good, so Iím afraid to upset the boss.
What can I do?
Thank you

Answer
Dear Warren,

Many thanks for writing to me.

Apologies for taking so long to reply. In the nearly 200 questions I've answered, this one is the hardest. That may or may not encourage you, but I thought that you'd probably like to know why it took so long. I wanted a bit of time to think about it.

There's no question that it's a nuisance when someone above you wants to go away at the same time as you and won't make a commitment.

I don't think that there's an easy answer to this, but let me offer a couple of suggestions.

I think that the first thing I'd do is ask to speak with him privately. That will make what you have to say seem a bit more important. It will also mean that with the door closed he won't have to worry about embarrassing himself. He's probably forgotten. I find it hard to believe that 10 days have elapsed on purpose.

He will probably want a couple of days to talk to his wife, or whoever. Get him to commit to a day when when he will come back to you, and then hold him to it.

If after a couple of days he still won't commit, then I'd think about taking it up a notch. Go to his boss, explain the situation, tell him/her that you don't want anyone to get into trouble, but that you asked what now will be a fortnight ago, and two days before, and you're not getting anywhere. And just say that you need to know because you need to book. Then get that person to commit to a date - within a couple of days of your meeting with him/her - when he/she will get back to you.

And I'm afraid that that's about all you can do. It really depends on how far up the food chain you want to go and if that will seem like an overreaction to the power-that-be.

But I'm curious. Why can't both of you go at the same time? Is the office so desperate that it can't function for a week without one or the other of you there? Seems extraordinary to me. What would be the consequences of booking that week (after talking to his boss) if he still won't commit? Actually, that would be a good question to put to his boss.

I'd be interest to know how things turn out. If you don't mind, perhaps you could send me a note after you talk to him and, if necessary, his boss.

Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers

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Dr Bruce Hoag, CPsychol AFBPsS

Expertise

How to retain top talent.
How to make your employees more productive
How to manage people across different cultures
How to make yourself more valuable to your current employer
How to manage your boss
How to become more employable

Experience

Co-wrote (with Professor Cary L Cooper, CBE) Managing Value-Based Organizations: It's Not What You Think, published in 2006.

Organizations
Academy of Management, British Psychological Society

Publications
Leadership & Organization Development Journal, http://www.ezinearticles.com

Education/Credentials
PhD, Organizational Psychology, Manchester Business School

Awards and Honors
Chartered Occupational Psychologist & Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society; Ezines Expert Author

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