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  • John Macedo


Updated: Mar 20

No matter how good you are, no matter how much knowledge you have, when explaining workers what to do you will only be successful when every person involved has a clear understanding of their daily tasks. However, for this to work out, you have to be as plain and straightforward as possible in your explanation method.

Factory floor picture

Keep in mind that not every worker has the arsenal of vocabulary, nor the experience that you have.

I will ask of you to do another imagination exercise and consider that you are a mechanical engineer who delivers his/her plans to a team of boilermakers in their factory. They all read it, but for some reason, they are having trouble figuring out how to interpret the plans. As you can imagine, the situation is not desirable.

You keep trying to make the plans easier and simpler by adding different angles of approach and drawings. However, at the end of the day, if you ask them, they will simply say something like “ Please come here and show me where the welds go”.

We can display a boss holding construction plans and lots of workers around, maybe with "?" on their heads while the boss speaks some sort of formula. (Illustration) (1 unit)

What do you do? You go down and show them where it goes.

Therefore, to prevent excess and unnecessary reiterations you and your workers must communicate in a language that is common for both of you.

In our example, the drawings are your language. You know all about these drawings, but they don’t. Because of that, they need you to point them out where everything goes. And you know how to point.

So, point!

Always try to “meet on the factory floor” with your subordinates. This means to use a language that is common for both you and the workers.

Boss pointing out to workers what to do while speaking the same language

(illustration) (1 unit)

Using the example above, be aware that your workers need to be able to read the plans easily, since going to the factory floor is not a long-term plan.

Consider teaching your workers how to do it. But what should that include? You should allocate time, prepare printed material or take notes (even if just mental notes) of what you need to say in order to properly deliver your message.

Even though it might sound like a waste of time, never forget that "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" (click here to learn more about this).