Are You Giving Clear Instructions?

If you’ve just become a manager, you are probably not used to giving instructions. Maybe you used to take instructions, but giving them is a new experience. Perhaps you’ve been surprised by people misunderstanding what you asked them to do and are wondering if there’s some form of sabotage going on here. Therefore, I prepared with an essay help service useful advice for you.

Well, chances are your instructions are not as clear as you think. Most of us make assumptions when talking about something we know well. We assume the other person knows what we mean, when really our words don’t make the message clear at all. And those waving hand gestures don’t actually help the other person comprehend!

Here is a simple, four-part process for giving clear instructions:

  1. Think the message through clearly in your own mind before you speak to the person. Does the person have any knowledge of the terminology or process, or should you be starting at a very low level in explaining things?Jot down some keyword notes, and actually rehearse what you want to say. Pay attention to the words you use, what you say and what you miss out, and your tone of voice. You want to give instructions, not bark out orders!
  2. Meet with the person. First explain in a few words what the task is. e.g. “Mary, I want you to arrange a catered lunch for our meeting with X Client next Thursday.”
  3. Next, following your notes, tell her each step you want her to take — the amount of detail will depend on Mary’s experience in this area, but don’t overestimate her knowledge.
  4. Finally, and this is critical particularly with people to whom you have not delegated before, ask them to repeat in their own words what they are going to do before they start. You can preface this with, “I want to be sure I have made everything clear”, so she feels you are confirming your own part of the dialogue rather than questioning her understanding.

If it’s a complex task, it might be helpful to establish a milestone, at which time she is to report back to you on her progress. That will give you a chance to correct any missteps before she goes too far down the wrong road.

Like so many other aspects of management, giving clear instructions to help people get things done depends on clear communication. As a new manager, you need to practise this skill.

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