Yes, you can sometimes simply order people to do things at work. But it's far better to think carefully about how you frame your requests to them. Determine how to frame your requests the right way.
- Sometimes you can get away with ordering people to do things at work, but certainly not if they don't report to you and even then, it's generally not a great idea because they'll resent you for it. Instead, it pays to learn the art of making a request because people feel a lot better about honoring a request than they do about following an order. Here's how to do it effectively. First, where possible it's always a good idea to dig your well before you're thirsty as the business author, Harvey Mackay put it. In other words, try to invest in a favor bank before you need to withdraw from it. If you can be helpful to your colleagues when they need it, donating to their charity run or filling in for them at meeting or editing a document for them, there'll be appreciative and far more likely to help you if you need a favor. Next in the moment, when you do have a request, make sure you explain the context. Let's say you'd like them to stay late at work to help you finish up a report. If they don't know the full story, they may think you were just irresponsible and put it off till the last minute. So why should they help enable you? But if your boss requested urgent last minute changes, and the client meeting is tomorrow morning, they're far more likely to be sympathetic and helpful. You also want to be sure to acknowledge that their assistance is a favor. As long as you have a good relationship, people are often pretty willing to help out where you run into trouble is if they feel a favor, some special kindness they're doing for you is being taken for granted. Make sure they know you appreciate it and use those words. Thank you for the favor. It means a lot to me, it'll go a long way. Now, sometimes their help really is a pure favor, but other times the request you're making also helps them in some way too. For instance, maybe the report you're working on is key to getting a budgetary increase approved that will benefit your colleagues department as well. If that's the case, be sure to point that out. You don't want to be heavy handed because they don't have to help you, but it can be useful to point out where your interests are aligned. For instance you could say, "Thanks for your help with this. This report will be critical for the meeting tomorrow. And if we can get the new budget approved, it'll be terrific news for both our departments." Finally be sure you express your gratitude explicitly and specifically don't just say, thanks. It means more if you detail exactly what they did and why it mattered to you, you could say, "Thanks so much for staying late last night. I know it was short notice and you're really busy. The edits you made to the report really tightened it up and made it more effective. And I couldn't have done the graphic work without you. You made the report a lot stronger and I know the whole team appreciates it." The days of ordering people around are gone. Instead we have to persuade them to want to collaborate with us. By following these steps, you can make requests more effectively and get your colleagues truly on board.
- Determine the most appropriate form of communication in a business situation.
- Identify instances in which one mode of communication is preferable to another mode.
- Explain the process involved in interpreting nonverbal cues.
- Define terminology relating to interpersonal communication.
- Distinguish between various communication approaches with individuals from other cultures.
- Describe the factors that underlie interruptions during business meetings.
- Examine the most appropriate ways to accept criticism.