There’s a skill in setting clear directions for your team.  As your business begins to employ staff or make use of contractors, it’s really useful to develop your leadership skills.  One such leadership skill is the ability to set clear directions.  To know what a “good job” looks like, and possibly the steps to get there.  That might depend on who you employ.  More about that in a minute.

What does a good job look like?

It’s important that YOU know what a job well done looks like so you can give feedback – either to praise and reinforce good work, or that your team member knows what improvements can be made next time.

The longer you wait before telling someone they’re not on top of it – will be harder for both of you.

Skills and Motivation contribute to getting a job done

When thinking about setting clear directions, it can be useful to think about 2 different aspects of the task (not the person).

A. Does the person have the skill to do the task?

B. How motivated are they to do the task?

These two aspects of motivation and skill give 4 different combinations – that you as a leader may need to address.  One of the benefits of outsourcing – is that you are paying for the job to get done – by someone who has the skills and is motivate.

It’s useful to remember that the combination of skill and motivation is about the TASK not the person.  You could have the most skilled and motivated person in one task – but if you give a new task – one or both of these aspects might change.  We might assume that someone is up for the challenge – but that’s not always the case.

The skills aspect is easy to address with short ‘how to videos’ or ‘how to guides’ that can be referred to repeatedly.  Motivation is a bit more tricky -as it can be harder to know what motivates someone else.

Also the situation can change motivation.  For example, one of my clients this week, whilst talking through making her workplace safe to bring her team back into the office noted that none of them wanted to do the “commute” any more.  Their MOTIVATION for the commute had gone – even though in the past they’ve successfully done this.  I’ll address this more in another blog.

It should be reasonably apparent that if a person doesn’t have the skills to do something – the way to address it, is different from if they don’t have the motivation.  HOWEVER, I do often see what is at first lack of motivation from a team member – when it can be a form of “embarassment” that they’re “afraid” to say they don’t know how to do something.  It can be useful to think about how you respont to someone when they “dare” to tell you that they don’t know how to do a task.  Are you supportive, dissmissive, rude, caring …. your behaviour can set the patten for the future.

On a lighter note ..

On a lighter note, our daughter was very excited to write a story outside of her class time.  Sitting in the kitchen drinking our coffee – my wife and I were enthusiastic, encouraged her to do the “picture map”.   Once done we encouraged her (us from the comfort of the kitchen table) to “yes, yes, write the story”.

She returned to us, very proud.  Lines akimbo!  Well she is only 5 – perhaps a bit more direction from us about how to write the story!


Photo Credits

Bus photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash