This is a vicious cycle of trouble.

Employee to Manager, “What would help me the most is some clarity on what you expect me to do and by when, this would be really useful in prioritizing my work and multiple projects sent to me daily.”

Manager to Employee, “I feel that it is insulting your intelligence, telling you how to do your job. You need to figure out how to organize your work and let us know and see your progress.”

WTF!? Did that just happen?

My reaction when I heard the above conversation.

The employee is asking for clarity from the manager and the manager does not want to insult his intelligence by telling him what to do?

Managements job is to tell people what to do

Clarify specifically what the employee is supposed to do; when to begin; when to end; what the final product is supposed to look like.


do people know what to do?


This happens too often, and many managers take the feedback and questions from employees as an assault on their management accountability. It is Not.

What it is, is your staff asking for clarity so they can get on with their work and so can you.

The next time you find your staff and work team not doing what they are supposed to do. Ask yourself and your team Do you know what you are supposed to do? If the answer is no, tell them and you will be amazed at the results and at your talent as a manager and team-leader.

What do you think?

As a manager / team leader are you annoyed when people ask you what it is you want them to do? Have you ever been accused of ‘not doing it right’ when you had no idea of what ‘right’ was?

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