Break your instructions down into bite sized chunks – step by step
Put your instructions into writing.
(reference & knowledge management – making life easier if you are selling your business or handing over before a holiday or maternity leave for instance)
It can be difficult to follow instructions if you need to leave and come back, so make sure you do not frustrate your team member by designing your instructions in a logical way, it needs to be broken down (not like recipes)
Comprehensive instructions boosts the confidence of the person following them, quick wins are great.
Take the time to edit your instructions carefully, to make it easy to understand, read and follow.
How do people learn? Be observant and ask them – this will help you to be a better instructor, trainer or mentor.
We all learn differently according to our energy levels, which device we are using etc, make sure you have a range of approaches to accessing and consuming your instructions.
Adult learners, just like kids, need a range of options so that they can tap into their preferred learning style
Reading gives the opportunity to skim (more difficult in an audio/video file) give them that option, it takes time, saves time too.
What you prefer when you are in ‘learn mode’ or multitasking mode’ can vary, be flexible about your delivery.
Engage your ‘audience’ by drawing them in with questions, challenges and the opportunity to try something out.
“What do they notice/see/think…?” nice open questions.
Edutainment – a mix of education and entertainment
Cultural and linguistics duos – buddy system
>>> My English Speaking Experts Club will be using the cultural duo approach for a rich learning experience >>>
Engage in a teaching conversation, make them a part of the learning process and give them the opportunity to talk about what they are learning, this will make them good givers of instructions when their time comes, you are setting an example.
Every conversation counts towards our reputation and personal brand, instructions are often their first impression of you.
Communication creates a connection and in a learning environment, there needs to be a dialogue between both the person giving and receiving instructions, so as to make it a personal, relevant and inspiring learning experience
Show them as often as is necessary, then get them to do it, following your instructions as written down. Your role is to observe.
Make sure you share why it is important to do something (in a certain way)
If you don’t understand why you are doing something, you have no purpose, so tell them why it matters, make it really clear.
Have some fun, be yourself, add some of your personality
Be vulnerable, share your mistakes and the implications of those mistake – plus the feelings
How did it affect other people involved in your mistake(s)?
The value of storytelling (mustard seeds tale)
Even temporary staff deserve well thought out, comprehensive instructions including a purpose and the why
Make people feel important and appreciated. Where do they fit into the process, why does it matter, why do THEY matter?
Low skill workers tend to have lower self esteem – you have an opportunity to influence that with a small win and assurance.
Repetitive skills are at a higher risk of mistakes and accidents, but these skills are often vital.
Effective instructions give people a chance to do well, to take pride in their work – that’s a motivational masterpiece
Review the last instructions performance
– Did the recipient of your instructions immediately know what to do?
– Did they feel confident trying it out themselves?
– Have they asked you lots of questions?
– How many times did they ask you the same question?
– Is that question in the Q&A in your instructions?
– Could you have created your instructions in a different format?
– Did you provide your instructions in writing?
What will you do to improve your instruction giving performance next time?
When is your next instruction giving performance?
Do you have specific feedback for your manager about giving instructions?
List them here…
Constructive Advice – I was a little confused when you …
Some of my clients appreciate being able to listen the podcast and see the words as they come up.
If you like to follow along as you listen, the video version will be here on this page shortly
If you enjoyed this show, then you might well appreciate the following shows which are also relevant to ‘giving great instructions’
A. Stop Taking things personally #119
B. Presentation Punishment #118
C. Charisma – A Communication Skils That You Can Start Practicing Today #117
D. Communication as the key to staff loyalty and knowledge management #116
What surprised you most about the episode, what did you learn, and which topics would you love to know more about?
Go on, make my day, share a success story about giving instructions or perhaps as the recipient of comprehensive instructions, impressive handover notes or an incredible onboarding experience.
No matter how small or significant it might feel to you, I love to hear what is working for you, because remember, every conversation is carving your reputation and personal brand.
Episode 125 – Using Analogies
Episode 126 – Business Storytelling
Episode 127 – Modern Management Communication Skills
Episode 128 – The Power of Persuasion
Episode 129 – Talking on the Spot
Episode 130 – Flexible or Flaky Communication – the fine line
Episode 131 – Summer Communication Opportunities
Summer break with a 6 week audio challenge to help you to speak up with more confidence and clarity in English. Short episodes with tasks to get you ‘speaking up’ in English about your zone of genius.