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Coaching - Making The Mini-vacation Standard

Dec 15, 2007
When was the last time you employer gave you a break? I'm not talking about a trip to some tropical resort or other international location. What I am talking about is a mini vacation. These can be an important way to build sanity back into a busy day, week, month or year.

Take Tim for example. His company flies him to many locations as part of his job. He is gone from home more than five months each year. His company allows him to retain all the reward points on his company credit card, so he can take his family on trips. This is their way of thanking Tim for his hard work.

When Tim is at these distance centers installing networks for his company he has developed a passion for the mini-vacation. For Tim this means loading a camera bag into the rental car and traveling to a pre-determined local destination and taking dozens of photographs.

He indicates that being away from his family would be absolutely unbearable if it weren't for the hobby he can enjoy on these mini-vacations. Early in the morning or after an install, Tim might be headed to a beach, a lighthouse or a mountaintop to capture images from across the U.S. Tim's photo artwork now graces his home and office. Folks are even beginning to ask him for reprints.

As his skill and passion for photography increases so too does his passion for the mini-vacation. Tim realizes that work could consume him, but finding someplace to go and being able to concentrate on something other than work allows him to be a better team member and it allows him to anticipate going home to see his family when his work is done.

Prior to his discovery of the mini-vacation Tim regularly found himself resigned to his motel room with either a computer or television. To him this was neither relaxing nor refreshing. It only served to remind him of work yet to do and a family waiting for him.

You might view a mini-vacation as something as simple as a trip to a nearby coffee shop to drink a latte and read a chapter or two in a favorite book. It might mean a trip to a nearby park for jogging, Frisbee or a hike on a nature trail.

Some businesses are allowing these mini-vacations or even power naps to enable their team members to find a balance between work and personal interests. I think what interests most team leaders is that this approach can often mean increased productivity.

It may seem as though this would be an impossibility, but in an age when job satisfaction is at an unusual low the idea of allowing team members to pursue their own interests in a flexible way can allow those team members to gain an improved outlook on job satisfaction. It may likely allow those same employees to deliver an improved job performance when they understand the company really does care about the things they are most interested in.

For Tim it's photography. What would you do on your mini vacation?
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