How to Ask for Further Instructions at work

Sometimes in the workplace, even though we are given instructions, we don't fully understand what is expected of us. In this lesson, I will share some tips and phrases to help you ask for further instructions or to clarify instructions already given.



Discussion


1. Do you often ask your superior for instructions? 2. Do you often ask your colleagues for help and direction? 3. Is it easier for you to ask your boss or your colleagues for help? 4. Does your manner of speech change when you ask your colleagues, compared to when you ask your boss? If so, in what way?



Here are a few useful expressions

  • Do you have a minute?

  • Would you mind sparing a few minutes of your time?

  • I was wondering if we could have a short meeting.

  • There are a few things I would like to ask you.

  • I would like to check on a few small details...

  • I would like to talk through this matter...

  • It won't take up too much of your time.

  • Sorry to interrupt, but could you repeat that, please?

To avoid having to ask for further instructions do the following:


Listen carefully.

Make sure to listen attentively when your superior is explaining a task or project. Take detailed notes of all the specifics mentioned, so that you can refer to them and avoid asking what has already been said.


Ask immediately.

When in doubt over an assignment or faced with a problem, don't ever hesitate to ask for help or clarification. It's better to ask early than to have to start over again.


Respect your superior's time.

Be mindful of your superior's time and respect their schedule. Always prepare a list of questions or points that you need to discuss.


Be brief and straightforward.

Ask simple, short, and informative questions; this will help you avoid wasting time.




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