How To Get Management Instructions Right Every Time
Managers give out Instructions: it is part of the job and gets things moving in the right direction.
Well, that’s what we hope for!
The problem is that there are many occasions where what we think we say is not what others hear and the results that we want are not forthcoming. This is very often not in the content of what has been said but rather in the way that it is communicated.
There are three very different types of Instructions all of which are as below:
- Orders: used where a quick response is needed or where a detailed discussion is not needed. Orders have an immediate effect, are followed exactly but are never exceeded, go unquestioned, allow no feedback, are assumed to be right and allow no initiative. AVOID USING THEM AT ALL COSTS!
- Requests: used in general operational activity on an everyday basis. Allows for team development and dialogue is promoted through discussion and challenge. Requests can take longer to be delivered, allow for feedback, allow initiative, promote the development of individual team members, are often exceeded as a result but can attract criticism and expose weaknesses. USE WHEN ABLE TO DO SO.
- Suggestions: used when individuals and teams are allowed and encouraged to develop their own views and solutions and essential for self-motivated working. Allows managers to assess the potential in their human resources. Produces a slow response with the risk that there may actually be no response on occasions, cannot be specific, delivers self-motivation and inspires initiative. USE WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
Review the way in which you give instructions to your staff and see where you can improve performance, just by thinking about the way in which you communicate.
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