Communication TipsConsulting Best Practices

Don’t Let Your Orders Confuse People

In a post at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder describes an old boss who was exceptionally bright and business-inclined, but he always gave vague orders that subordinates could not interpret. Sauder estimates that perhaps this boss was so bright that he thought the things he was asking for were obvious, but to lesser mortals, that was not truly the case. The takeaway is that it is important for you to give people orders on a level that they will understand (without being condescending).

Toward that end, Sauder says to do these things:

  • Assess your audience: Ask a few basic questions to gauge the depth of an employee’s knowledge on the topic.
  • Describe the final outcome: Outline generally what shape the result of your order should take.
  • Solicit questions: Give them a chance to seek additional clarification up front.
  • Have them describe it back to you: If they can do this well, then the order has been understood.

You can view the full post here:

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