How to Issue Good Directives as a Supervisor

Clarity between supervisor and employee is indispensable.
Clarity between supervisor and employee is indispensable. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

For employees to effectively and efficiently achieve the desired results, it is imperative for the supervisor to issue good, clear, understandable and concise directives. What you say and how you say it will greatly affect how well you can enlist employee cooperation toward achieving your goals.

Be reasonable. Ensure that you direct your comments to the proper individual. You do not want to issue a directive to someone lacking the experience, ability and/or willingness to comply.

Be understandable. Make certain that employees understand your directives and speak words familiar to them. Also, use feedback to ensure that your employees understand your directives.

Be specific. State clearly what you expect from your employees in terms of quality and quantity.

Specify deadlines. This eliminates uncertainty and helps employees properly structure their duties to meet your expectations.

Be congruent. Make sure your directives are compatible with your organization’s mission, vision, core values, philosophy, regulations, policies and ethical standards.

Use appropriate tone, wording and phrasing. Never bark orders but phrase your desires in the form of a request, using a considerate and polite tone.

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