What I learned from my dad could save you hours
When I was a kid dad was always either working on something in the house or in the garden and I loved hanging out with him and helping out.
Last weekend I spent the weekend with my parents at their house, which seems to be in eternal renovations.
So as someone that LOVES to see stuff finished and done, I asked dad what he wanted me to help out with on the renovations.
I have spent my whole life with my dad teaching and explaining new things to me, it was just normal.
But on the weekend I was listening to him explain something to my husband and all of a sudden observing from the outside I realised that one of the most important things I teach about giving good instructions, I must have learned from my dad.
The steps on how to do something is important.
But just as important is context.
Obviously people don’t want you to dribble on and give a whole history and life story..
but give enough context to understand why something has to be done and what the outcome will be.
You are actually empowering them by giving them this information.
You are giving them the information they need to make good decisions and not just blindly follow the steps.
Understanding the outcome of a process means they will more fully understand when something is an issue.
So whenever I would ask dad a question or he was explaining how to do something, he would always give me the full explanation with all the construction terms, not that I understand many of those, but I got the idea.
Because he understood the more information and context he gave me the better I was able to make my own decisions about what I should or shouldn’t do.
So the next time you are explaining or handing a task over to someone make sure you don’t just include the how or the steps.
Take the time to tell them:
- What the outcome of the task is
- Why it’s important to your business
- What happens if it’s not done and why that matters
- How it might fit in with other tasks and processes
- And anything that you think is important to know
You might just want them to get on with it and do the task, but taking this little bit of extra time up front can save you hundreds of hours and millions of dollars.
In a recent article in the Australian Financial Review, Brian Hartzer talked about the importance of considering the outcomes of the processes we carry out, not just doing the steps because it’s the process.
Brain knows the perils of not considering these things having been the CEO of one of Australia’s top banks when it discovered that errors with their processes resulted in them having to pay over a billions dollars in fines and Brian being stood down as CEO.
It wasn’t any one persons fault, but if you don’t have or seek all the information…
This sort of thing happens.
That’s an extreme instance, but consider what it could mean for your business.
- Lost sales
- Sapping your time in fixing issues
- Disgruntled customers
Your time is valuable, use it wisely.
So where are you not empowering your team because you couldn’t be bothered to take the time to tell them why the task is important to you?
Have an extraordinary day!
P.S. I’ll be posting some pics from the weekend on Instagram if you want to follow me over there.
P.P.S. Is there something you can get off your ToDo list by instructing someone else how to do it for you?