We all have encountered situations wherein there were unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances because of which we had to extend our leave. For example, sickness, family issues, marriage etc. Now here comes the uncomfortable question – how to ask the boss for a leave extension. Quite tricky, huh?
When you are already on leave and then you have to request for extension of leave, it should be done in such a way that it is granted without much ado. For this you need to consider a few things.
First of all, you should build a strong relationship with your manager in the beginning itself. This will give you the leverage to ask for an extension of leave. A strong bond cannot be built overnight, it takes time. You need to work on it. The scope of understanding will be more in a relationship that is built on trust. Once faith is ensured in a relationship, any communication will be treated with respect and conviction.
Your track record with the company goes a long way in building that trust. If you have already proven yourself to be hardworking, efficient and most importantly, a person of high integrity, your manager will have no reason to doubt the reasons for your request for extension of leave.
Once the trust is established, honour that trust and take utmost care to prevent that trust from being betrayed. It takes years to build trust but just a few moments for that to be destroyed.
Being open and transparent with your manager on why you need a leave extension, is important.
Write an email requesting for leave extension
When you are faced with such a situation where you need leave extension, the best thing is to write an email to the boss, stating the specific reason for the same. Be very courteous and ensure that you use words that convey the reason to be genuine.
The tone of the email should be formal. Conclude by expressing that you regret the inconvenience caused due to your absence. Assure your manager that whatever work gets pending because of your absence will be done on high priority once you are back. Such assurance will make your manager consider your request favourably.
Give the exact number of days that you need extension for. If possible, make some arrangement to get some trusted colleagues to cover some of your routine tasks. if there is any possibility of work from home, suggest the same. And if granted, complete the work within the stipulated time period. This will work as a win-win situation.
Please inform the manager of this desire to extend leave as soon as possible. Some people take the liberty to inform their manager after their original leave period has expired. This is deemed very unprofessional and doing so will leave a very adverse impression on the manager.
Depending on the culture within your own organisation, it may even be worthwhile to call up your manager on the phone (after you have requested him by e-mail) to have a conversation on the circumstances that require you to extend your leave. A telephonic call lends a more personalised touch to the request; it also tells the manager that you are not trying to “hide” behind an e-mail.
Respect the manager’s decision
Remember that a request for a leave extension does not automatically mean that the leave will be granted. You should be prepared to get a “no” from the manager, depending on the circumstances within the organisation.
If your manager does not grant your extension of leave, respect the decision and do not take it personally. Note that granting the extension is the prerogative of the manager
Sometimes, one has to agree to disagree; you can have a one-on-one conversation later as to why the leave extension was important.
In most cases though, if you have already established yourself as a valuable team member and your request is deemed genuine, such requests are granted. Take responsibility for your actions and do your part well, and in most cases you will find yourself reap the rewards!
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-By Chander Madan