Learn how to write instructions for a colleague.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

From: Amelia Smith
To: Tim Young
Subject: Things to do for the team meeting

Tim,

We have a team meeting in Room 310 on Friday 26 November at 11 a.m. We are expecting 25 members of our international team there.

  • Could you please book the room for us? 
  • Would you please prepare 25 pens and notepads for the meeting? 
  • Also, can you write an email to the team members to tell them the time and place of the meeting?

Thanks very much for your help. If you have any questions about this just let me know – I'll be in the office tomorrow morning.

Best,

Amelia

Tips

1. You can start a note with just the name of the person you are writing to or Hi ... . You don’t need to use Dear … .

2. Make sure dates are very clear. Include the day, date and time.

3. Explain the reason for the instructions.

4. Write clear and polite instructions. Use phrases like Can / Could / Would you please … ?

5. At the end offer the chance to ask questions and check the instructions.

6. Finish the note with Best, or Thanks, and then your name underneath.

Discussion

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Language level

Beginner: A1

Comments

When I have to give someone instructions, I use email for sending them a note or I speak to them, as each case requires. Indeed, if it's a matter of simple tasks, a message by emal is enough, but, if I have to give instructions more important and detailed, I send an email and I call them for verifying the correct comprehension of my instructions.

I haven't ask for help that consist of instructions and involving many people with or without high responsibility and consequence. But if I have to, I prefer speak a brief to people I ask for help and then write a clear note after that. With the note I can write clearly in detail many information and many things to do, so people who help doesn't miss any information and any things that they should do to help me, because they can read and re-read the note carefully and find anything that they should ask so their work on helping me can be done without missing anything, then everything run strategically, efficiently, effectively, and perfectly. No missunderstanding, no missing something, no rework, no dissapointing, no regrets, no frustration, and no conflict. Good grammar skill, knowledge on how writing a note for asking help/give some tasks, good relationship that already been build before, politeness, and good intention will help a lot. If you have time you can follow up the work progress and what the problem that come along the process and give some advice and or help.

i usually sent a text message to instruct him or his, he can remember what he/she need to do and its east to check email or note on the table

I prefer to write them because if the person is busy, it can be a bother for him/her to speak me.

I prefer to give instructions by writing a note to avoid misunderstandings with my colleagues. That's the easiest way for me to give instructions.

When I need to give instructions to my colleagues, I prefer to do this one by sending an email, because I like to register all the details of the information. Today I learned how modals verbs, like could and would, are important to give instructions politely.

Hi
Sarah,

We have a meeting in The meeting room in our office on 21 April at 2 p.m.
The members are 10 people.

would you please coordinate it?
would you please prepare 10 pens and notebooks for them?
could you email address and time meeting for them?

Thank you so much for your help. I will be there at 10 p.m.

Best,
Nana

I prefer to write the instructions note because we can review it at any time and remember what we need it’s better for us especially when instructions have dates and times . On the other side speaking definitely all body forget some details.

Hi Francis,
Please note that we have a customer meeting on tomorrow Monday at 11 am. Around 30 members will attend the meeting.
Could you please arrange meeting room for tomorrow at 11 in the morning..?
Can please arrange 30 notepad and pens..?
Could you tell office boy to clean out in the meeting room Also tell him keep 30 bottle water on the table.

Thanks and Best Regards
Shamsukprm75.

I prefer to write them an email, because we can check it any time we want;

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