A Handful of Tips 87 – Instructions
The five best tips for giving instructions
Your directives can be in the form of commands, demands, requests or suggestions.
If you are giving orders make sure they are clear, concise and complete.
1. Be precise and definite about what has to be done
Explain reasons for the changes and assign a priority to the new task.
Verbal instructions should be reinforced with written orders.
They should be simple, precise and unambiguous.
If there are language problems with any workers make sure instructions are given in their language as well as in English.
2. Set prescribed standards
State, illustrate or demonstrate the results you expect.
If necessary set deadlines.
3. Ask questions to clarify proposed actions
Make sure the employees fully understand what changes are needed.
Encourage them to ask questions and, in turn, ask them questions to see if they have understood correctly.
4. Make them or their team accountable for the task
Respect their dignity and do not talk down to them.
5. Periodically check that the instructions are being carried out to the prescribed standards
“An organisation’s effectiveness depends on clarity of purpose, clearly conveyed to the team who fully understand what is expected.”
SOURCE: “Secrets for Success” Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.