How was your vacation?

Say you are a manager, and you ask a member of your team this question. He responds, ‘My vacation was great, but I really didn’t feel like coming back to work. It was a pain to drag myself to work this morning.’

On hearing this, one response is to flare up in indignation. ‘How can he speak to his manager like that? I need to teach him a lesson.’

Another response we often see is to laugh it off, shrug, and say something like ‘vacations are always too short.’

Those are the fight or flight responses that we are most conditioned to have. However, as a competent manager, there is really only one good response to such a statement from your team member: ‘I am sorry to hear that. Can we grab a coffee and talk about why you feel this way?’

When you feel crappy on showing up to work, it takes courage to walk up to a manager and give them the bad news. A good manager thanks such an act rather than punishes it.

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