Do They Understand What You Mean?


When talking to an office manager recently, she admitted she was having problems with her staff members completing tasks she had assigned them.  She felt it really was not her staff’s fault as much as it was hers and how she gave instructions.

When it came to delegating to her staff members, she would become a little nervous thinking she might sound “bossy” so she gave instructions quick and vague.  She knew this was frustrating to her staff and wanted to know how she could improve in this area.

When asking staff members to complete assigned tasks the parameters should be clearly defined.  Whatever the task a proper briefing is essential.  You cannot hold someone responsible for an assigned task when vague or undefined instructions are given.

  1. After assigning a task, ask for feedback with questions like, “Do you understand what I have asked of you and can you explain what you need to do?”
  2. If they have any questions they can be addressed right away before tackling the task.
  3. Always let your staff know that you are available to help, advise or support them during the process of completing the task.  This way they will come to you with any questions they may have.
  4. Have a check-in time with them as they are doing the task just to see how things are going.  Let them know when you assign the task that you will be doing this so they do not think you are just checking up on them.
  5. Make sure that your staff members have the tools and any authority they may need in advance to complete the task assigned.

When the task is done make sure that you give a praise report on the completed project, letting the staff member know how much you appreciate the work and time they have invested.

As an employee, we all want to receive clear instructions so we can do a good job.  As a manager never be timid to give good, complete instructions and elicit feedback from your staff so they can do the best job possible.  They will appreciate your efforts and also feel great about the job they completed.


One thought on “Do They Understand What You Mean?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.