Direct well to communicate better

Direct well to communicate better

"It is easier to reduce the impact of our defects than to expand the space of our virtues."


  • 1 Know how to send
  • 2 Place the person in charge
  • 3 Personal development of the manager

Know send

Some people have serious problems to send. Sending naturally is something that only some very confident people do without problems. In general, it is a skill that is acquired with the exercise of managerial action, but not without difficulties.

One of the aspects that distinguishes a manager with experience from another without it is the ability to adapt the style of order to the general environment of the company. The inexperienced manager usually uses SUGGESTIONS instead of ORDERS. The suggestions work well in camaraderie environments, but their indiscriminate use often leads to dialogues such as the following:

Manager: Juan, please be nice to change the printer.
Juan: Yes, but don't ask me… I'm very busy.
Manager: Miguel, please change the printer.
Miguel: That's Juan's thing.

The orders are clearly coercive message intended to cause behavior, issued by who has the authority to do so. Depending on the degree of coercion we can distinguish different formulations:

  • Suggestion: The action is indicated without directly holding a subordinate responsible. "Someone should do such a thing."
  • Justified Order: A behavior is indicated to a subordinate, indicating the reason for said action. "Juan, please, it is necessary to do such a thing because tomorrow they will come to pick up the order."
  • Unjustified Order: The behavior to be done is indicated to a subordinate. "Juan prepares the ZX order for tomorrow."
  • Order with placement: The order includes a temporary or other term that must be fulfilled. "Juan, this order has to be ready by eight o'clock."
  • Order with scheduled penalty: A positive or negative sanction linked to the ordered action is announced to a subordinate. "Juan, if the order is not at 8 o'clock, forget about the holiday I promised you." "If you finish this work before noon you can take the Pilar bridge."

Type suggestions:

"It would be great to achieve / do such a thing"
"It would be great if you did / did such a thing"

... are correct in environments where hierarchical differences are scarce and camaraderie predominates. Curiously, they also work very well when the chief's authority is so undisputed and obvious that it is enough to insinuate an action so that several volunteers arise to execute it. In these cases, the use of the plural attenuates the coercive effect and increases the boss's commitment to the action.

Using only justified suggestions and orders limits the manager's room for maneuver, as well as ordering in a tense or hostile tone of voice. The manager must know how to send without justifications, but with affability.

The orders with placement must be used judiciously by the tension they introduce in the boss-subordinate relations. Who places must know how to handle this tension, for example using plural formulations of the type:

"We must act in such a way. This means that by this date we have to finish this work."

Managers who work with teams of professionals should hurry these intermediate formulas, because intelligent people must realize the benefit of trust.

Errors by bosses when applying pressure on an order:

  • Bosses who want to be interpreted. There are people who do not know how to order clearly. They are based on remote suggestions, sometimes as if they were comments left here and there, but in their imagination they seem to be ordering clearly. When they realize that nobody has paid attention to them, they get angry. That is, they do not order directly, but require their subordinates to interpret their suggestions as if they were orders.
  • Bosses holding on to explode. Other managers know how to suggest and order, but do not know how to exercise a third coercive step: sit with the subordinate and turn the cards face up. They wait and expect a spontaneous change that does not come, until emotions betray them and explode in a bad way.
  • Bosses who fear disobedience and at all times tighten the rope to the fullest. They do not trust their subordinates. For them, to be disobeyed is to question them no longer as bosses, but as people. Each order is a test for which they are used thoroughly.

Move to the boss

Some subordinates disobey our orders repeatedly and seemingly. To be disobedient does not mean to be a gandul too. Gandules are only one category within the disobedient.

Let's see the various typologies:

  • Immature personality: late adolescents who need to assert themselves.
  • Errors in the way of sending. Lack of adaptation to certain characteristics of the subordinate.
  • Natural leaders and valuable people who need to grow.
  • Joker
  • Passive-aggressive personality.
  • Gandules

Those who suffer from personal immaturity need to assert themselves through disobedience. They even fulfill their responsibilities, but after the deadline, or so that their independence is evident before their immediate bosses, although they usually fulfill their obligations. Do not fall into the error of quarreling with this profile of junior, and less to fight for trifles and in public, because an enemy could easily be created. The best strategy is to reinforce the positive aspects of your work, make you understand that we are not ogres, but people who can appreciate your successes, and not be aware when trying to generate a confrontation looking for the "melee."

As for the errors in the way of sending, we have to say that in a non-infrequent way it is the manager himself who has worked his bitter destiny, for example, treating his subordinates in an inconsiderate manner.

Some mistakes Frequent in the way of ordering:

  • Lack of attention to objections, often reasonable by subordinates.
  • Petulant or conceited style. Unnecessary use of direct orders when people would work more comfortably with suggestions.
  • Lack of security. Need to justify constantly. Sort almost as if apologizing for the fact of sending.
  • Things are never done to your liking. The subordinates do not strive to do things right because they know they will never receive a word of support.
  • Do not adjust our style to characteristics of the subordinate.

Some subordinates are endowed with a leadership capacity that - because of their job position - they cannot develop. They see their manager as a person of lesser value than themselves, and they dislike it. They are driven to critically criticize the initiatives that are taken and if - in addition - their proposals are not accepted, they easily fall into frank negativism.

The natural leader needs space to grow. We have to give him responsibilities without undermining our own role. If it is absolutely impossible to give responsibilities to this person, we will not hesitate to recommend it to other Departments, and in the meantime make it clear that we appreciate its worth, but that each one has to fulfill the responsibilities he has.

Another very different case is the joker. What are the secret benefits of the joker?:

  • The pleasure of being feared by superiors, subordinates and equals. Its sharp tongue can ruin a professional career or create states of opinion around people or subjects.
  • The joker has a good exit as a court jester. Sometimes he is caught directly by a boss to fill this void, going from private to sergeant simply for being funny at the expense of other people. An ally of this type can enhance the sadistic tendency of an immature boss.
  • When the joker sharpens his tongue against his own boss, he can do it simply to have a good time or - which is more frequent - to obtain extra benefits: to gain an untouchable reputation or to be expelled from certain obligations.

A first possibility that you always have to consider: Are you a person excessively sensitive to criticism or mockery of others? If so, we may be talking more about a weakness of his than a strength of the joker. And therefore the right action is to act on your weakness: ignore the giggles behind your back and the problem is over.

Before a joker we can ignore or we can fight back, everything will depend on our interests and abilities. Simply being indifferent is already a way to counteract it. Another effective way to treat the joker is to interrupt him when he is going to talk about everything if we guess he will say one of his thanks. The third tactic is to punish him indirectly. Every time he plays, he is given some extra homework. He soon establishes a cause-effect relationship and learns the price of his jokes.

Another profile that we must identify quickly is that of the passive-aggressive. The subjects with passive-aggressive personality are people who accept badly to be sent with direct orders. Since childhood they have become accustomed to the opposite. They have a contained aggressiveness that leads them to explosions of anger when they are "loaded", but in the process of being loaded they can appear very calm.

These subjects require a friendly but at the same time firm treatment.

Some characteristics of the passive-aggressive:

  • They act looking for the confrontation with the boss.
  • They disobey without facing the Boss.
  • They disobey above all to annoy the Chief, regardless of the importance of the task or the global consequences of disobedience.
  • Reasons are sought to justify the confrontation. They are artists of rancor: where there is none, they believe it.
  • Disobedience creates more problems than benefits, sometimes they even risk being fired, but they are drawn to conflicts of authority.
  • They show other people an unusual degree of hostility against the Chief, which in no way appears in his direct relationship with him.
  • Only occasionally does this hostility openly manifest itself as aggressiveness. It is more proper underground or treacherous revenges: anonymous, boycotts, etc.

Passive-aggressive must be turned around. Instead of entering the spiral of tension that they cause, we have to uncheck ourselves and send them a message that we consider them friends.
Let's see an example:

"Anselmo was in charge of a Maintenance Unit. One of the workers, Eduardo, seemed as if he was expressly struggling to do things wrong, especially when he received direct orders. A couple of times he fell into the trap of admonishing him, which it only made the situation worse. Advised by the Human Resources manager, Anselmo changed his strategy. When he detected that Eduardo had not changed a deposit, despite having ordered it, he said: "Eduardo, you did such a job very well. By the way, we will change the deposit. Come, help me. "They began to change the deposit but once the work began Anselmo gave him various instructions and left him to attend other matters, all in a cordial atmosphere:" If you need help, let me know or call Fernandez, "he said He repeated this tactic as many times as he disobeyed: first a praise and then jointly initiate the order, always trying to give him the same treatment as the rest of the staff. "

Before hanging a person's label, we must analyze several possibilities that are often confused:

  • Some people with psychological or psychiatric problems may go through phases of very low work performance to, once recovered from the trance, return to their previous activity levels.
  • Do not confuse gandulería with inconstancy either. Some people need stimulating work and will never adapt to routine tasks.
  • Some people take revenge on the company with poor performance. Suspect in this case a passive-aggressive personality.

Well, we have already ruled out the fake sloths ... we are facing a true gangster ... how can we explain the phenomenon of the sloth?

We can distinguish between the lazy active and the passive. The asset is usually a person who has not acquired the habit of working. In these subjects, learning to work is closely linked to knowing how to concentrate on a task for a sufficient period of time. In other words: knowing how to concentrate and motivate.

Passive lazy people are especially prone to hibernation. They lack verve. You can spend hours doing a minimal task, as if your work pace was slow motion. You, as responsible, can catch a nervous breakdown while observing them and yet they are hardly immuted. The warning and the penalty do not seem to be the ideal recipe. Other possible and perhaps more practical measures are:

  • Study the profile of the worker and adjust his job.
  • Change the department worker. Sometimes with another manager things improve substantially, just by starting another dynamic.
  • Be patient and expect a slow adaptation to your job. In certain cases, we can transfer passive loafers to places where they will be the partners themselves who will require a minimum return.
  • Another possibility is to plan a behavior modeling.
  • Finally, we must consider separating it from the Department. Although it can be painful we cannot tolerate that it infects the rest of the team with their habits.

Personal development of the manager

The task of leading involves putting ourselves at risk and balancing what is expected of us with what we truly are and can give. The manager works constantly communicating, but communicates from his personality, and only progresses firmly when his personality works.
Only the manager who has a global vision of his life, of his labor, family and personal relations, will be fully trained to face the hard setbacks of the profession.

We understand by personal growth of the manager:

  • The adaptation of its ethical principles to the different situations that it must face. Adaptation does not mean treason. What's more: you must maintain a consistent line. Each manager must decide what this goal is: personal achievement, the well-being of his family, social benefit, etc ... And he must discover himself in the actions he undertakes or to which he is invited, exercising a will for coherence, being able to reject proposals that in the long run they will harm him in a moral sense, not only in his social projection or economic interest.
  • The improvement of its virtues and the attenuation of its defects.
  • The ability to understand people more and more deeply as components of an organization. This involves practicing solidarity listening with the subordinate who comes to us but also with the one who does not attend or has the possibility of doing so.
  • And finally, to be the same person in the different environments of our life: in the family as at work, with friends or in etiquette meetings. It would be the principle of integrity.

Some practical principles for the personal development of the manager:

Relative to emotions
1. Fight against laziness, practice generosity.
2. Modulate negative emotions, especially hostility.

Relating to our ability to prosecute
3. Preserve our judgment (when they always influence us because they convince us) and perceive our degrees of freedom (not to be confused when we think we act freely and in reality we are guilty of the will of another person or institution).
4. Analyze each specific situation, allowing us to be different. To risk new behaviors consistent with our ethics, without dogmas that serve as an excuse for not thinking.

Relative to our integrity
5. Authenticate our decisions based on our deepest feelings (values). Do not let us drag because others do.

Relating to our sources of personal enrichment
6. Diversify contexts and seek enriching interpersonal relationships outside the workplace. This is the best insurance for moments of real crisis (for example, when you are fired, retire ...)

Relating to our image and self-esteem
7. Accept ourselves as we are, value ourselves as we are and not accept the unreal expectations that others project on us, neither more nor less.
8. Perform things for which we will be proud, adapted and consistent at every vital stage.

Relating to the goals we set ourselves
9. Plan with equal determination both our personal and professional development, and have as sources of pleasure not only professional achievements, but also family, personal and social.

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