A boss who gives workers specific, detailed instructions saves time and increases the overall efficiency of his or her business.
This approach matters because boosting efficiency ultimately improves profitability. Plus, this method requires a minimal time investment but no additional tool or equipment expenditures.
Tire dealers and service shop operators may overlook the fact that glib, seemingly off-the-cuff orders may waste time and cause needless aggravation. All too often, a boss behaves as if workers are mind readers who instinctively understand what he expects and demands.
Human nature being what it is, an owner or manager may not look in the mirror when he realizes that the assigned task is incomplete or incorrect. Instead, his immediate reaction may be more like, "This worker can't do anything right!"
Then tempers may flare further when the worker responds, "Don't hassle me. I did what you told me to do."
In the words of an insurance man, contributory negligence occurred here. That means both parties — the boss and the employee — erred. They both goofed by making common assumptions.
For example, the owner or manager assumed that he told the worker exactly what he wanted him to do. Bosses often believe that the words they speak inherently are the clearest, most-appropriate ones for the occasion.
But in reality, those directions may be rather vague — overly general.
The hapless employee, in turn, made the assumption that he was executing the manager's command correctly. This willing worker erred by failing to ask for additional details about the boss' marching orders.
Therefore, the worker's response simply amounted to his best interpretation of the boss' command. "Best interpretations" do not necessarily match the boss' intentions.
A competent owner/manager runs a service shop where I often do homework and photography. He likes to joke that two bad assumptions should cancel out each other.
However, my field experience has convinced me that two assumptions may just double the risk of misunderstandings and flared tempers.
Predictably, these kinds of confrontations do not enhance the working relationship between managers and employees. What is more, these avoidable disputes hurt the crew's overall confidence in the boss' pronouncements.