A Handful of Tips 42 –
Five of the best tips on ways to give directives
Orders can be in the form of commands, demands, requests or suggestions.
These days orders are normally given to team leaders by requesting and suggesting action.
1. Define what has to be done
Instructions must be clear, simple and unambiguous. When you write them they must be concise and complete. Use specific and familiar words and active verbs.
If you have foreign workers give instructions in their language as well as in English.
Set prescribed standards. Respect the employees’ dignity and do not talk down to them.
2. Give reasons and assign a priority to the task
The person receiving the instructions must know why it should be done, how it should be done and when it should be completed.
Set deadlines if necessary.
3. State, illustrate or demonstrate the results you expect
With complex instructions write them out first . This will help you clarify your own ideas and get things into a logical order.
After giving verbal instructions give the person a copy of the written instructions.
4. Ask questions to ensure the person understands
Encourage them to ask questions if they are not sure what has to be done and how to do it.
Then question them to see that they have understood fully what is required of them
5. Periodically check that your orders are being carried out to the standards you require
Make the person or team accountable for the task and ask for regular reports to ensure you are getting the desired results.
“Orders should be Clear, Concise and Complete.”
Source: “Secrets for Success. This book could change your life.” Also available from Cengage Learning, Asia and as an e-book from Amazon.com.