Right and Wrong Words To Boost Productivity

Simple words and phrases can work wonders when it comes to productivity. Say the wrong thing and it drops. Utter the right words and it increases.

Here’s a look at the right and wrong ways to boost productivity, according to the Wrike.com blog. On the positive side, according to one blog post, here are ways to jump start productivity. (Text in bullets is directly from the website.)

“Here are all the documents you will need to get the job done.” When you’re delegating a task, the most harmful action you can take is to tell them to get it done without providing access to the necessary resources.”

“You can find examples of previous, similar work here.” A great way to show someone the ropes is to give them examples of previous work. They’ll know what you expect as their finished contribution.

“Let’s talk about the date you think you can finish this work.” Discussing due dates instead of demanding due dates is a great way to make sure things get done. Give your assignee the space to let you know about other commitments, and then you can discuss whether or not your preferred due date is feasible.

“Judy and John have experience with this kind of task. Feel free to ask them for help.” When you delegate a task to your team member, let them know who has experience with that kind of work so they know where to direct their questions. Giving them this information upfront prevents your team member from running around trying to find answers to questions.

“You’ve been working hard, take a break!” Taking breaks is key to continued productivity. Let your team members know that you don’t mind if they take a break — as long as it’s well-deserved.

That last point is as important as any you can make to increase productivity. And it’s important that your actions back up your words. People who work for you will take breaks if you take breaks. Otherwise, they’re going to follow the leader.

And here are things you can say that will hurt you when delegating a task, according to another blog post at Wrike.com. Again, text in bullets is straight from the post.

“I know you haven’t finished that section yet, but this needs to be done right now!” Good delegation is about setting priorities. While emergencies do happen, having “emergencies” every couple of days won’t help productivity. It will hinder productivity.

“I know you’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m sure you can handle it.” There’s nothing to raise a team member’s stress level like hearing this phrase. Everyone wants the chance to improve their skills, but is it really fair to put someone in that position without adequate preparation or training?

“Just come up with something, and we’ll see if it fits.” The issue with this phrase is lack of clarity, and we all know how that ends up. If you don’t have an idea about the result you want, then how can the assignee deliver it?

“That’s not the way I would have done it.” A “my way or the highway” approach leads you directly to micromanagement and discourages others from taking responsibility for tasks and achievements – and that’s the whole point of delegation. OK, so you would have taken another route, but as long as the solution works, does it matter if your colleague did things differently?

“You should have shown me it before the deadline…” Your goals might be crystal clear, but the only way to know if you’re on track to meet them is to set up milestones and checkpoints with the assignee, so you are not disappointed on the project delivery date. Do this, and you can get rid of issues before they become major problems.

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