b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: English as a First Language



English as a First Language

Communication… managers need to learn how it works. Long gone are the days where we simply do what we are told. Now, at best, we need to repeat what our bosses say, write it down, and follow it up with an email. And that STILL gives us no guarantee that our bat-$#@%-crazy manager isn’t going to turn around and clobber us with, “That’s not what I told you to do!”

Also, it would help if they knew how to explain what needs to be done. It’s great that Miss Manager knows what she's doing, but if I have to ask her four times to restate it differently, that means she needs to find a better way to go about explaining it. Based on my experience of "getting it", I know the misunderstanding is not from my stupidity. This inability to be able to lace together a single coherent thought is, I'm sorry to say, commonplace. This is just reality.

Aside from that, people learn things differently. Some people learn by seeing it done, others by doing it, others by hearing it, and still others by putting it under their pillows at night and learning by osmosis. Okay, I pulled that last one out of thin air because I thought it sounded good.

When I was still incarcerated in Corporate America and managing others, I used to write up extensive “How-to” manuals that literally took a person by the hand on what needed to get done for every task. If anyone found a better way to perform step #3 than as I laid it out, I would tell them to go for it and make the change. Or, if something needed further clarification, I would go back and re-write it. I never completed a manual from start to finish on my own. If there were others that needed it, then it needed to pass their inspection. Let’s face it; sometimes someone else has a better way to phrase things. As a manager, it's key to learn some of these ways and use them. It makes better managers and gets past the fact that they don't know how to explain anything to anyone else. It's also about getting over the ego thing.

I’m just saying.

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