Another Handful of Tips 64 – Instructions
Five of the best tips when giving instructions to get things done
The days of giving strict orders and directives are long gone. They are usually reserved for emergencies – or in the armed forces.
Today, leaders usually give instructions to team leaders by focusing on the goals of the organisation, then requesting or suggesting the actions to be taken.
1. Be clear and definite about what you want done
Give reasons and assign priority to the new task.
Make sure your instructions are simple and clear.
With complex instructions, write them out first to get your message in logical order and easy to understand.
If you give your instructions to staff verbally, always put them in writing as well. Staff can then refer to them later if necessary.
Respect the dignity of your employees. Take care not to talk down to them.
Always be polite, sincere and honest. Use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ often when making requests or giving instructions.
2. State, illustrate or demonstrate the results you expect
If possible give examples.
Encourage questions about the tasks.
3. Set prescribed standards
Ask questions to make sure employees understand exactly what is required.
Challenge staff to get good results.
4. Set deadlines
State clearly what actions are required by a specific time.
Decide what other tasks will be affected and if any changes are needed.
5. Delegate accountability
Appoint a specific person responsible for seeing the instructions are carried out efficiently.
Who is accountable for what, by when?
Make sure other people involved know what action has been taken.
The key to successful management is the ability to delegate and to give clear instructions.
“How well we get our instructions across is determined not by how well we say things , but by how well we are understood.”
Source: “.Time-Savers” and “Training Secrets” were first published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand (www//mossassociates.co.nz), McGraw-Hill Australia and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. Also available as a hard copy and as an e-book from Amazon.com and VitalSource.