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Instructions for a colleague

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

So, I prefer send a email rather to call, because the email hold the main informations I need to inform. Besides that I can revise it before send to make sure I wrote all main informations correctly. Generally after send a email if nobody answered me I use to call to confirm the person receive the mensage.

My prefer method is to talk directly rather than email because when I talk directly. It’s save my time and I can plan sooner rather than waiting for the email response.

In my opinion, I think that the best approach for giving instructions to someone is by sharing a note or an email with the main points of the request and then offer the other person to get back to you with questions or inquiries that he/she may have. Sometimes, a brief call to better alignment with your colleague is a good practice too, since he/she may need some clarification or examples about what it should be done.
I also think it is worth considering that you should always make your request politely and explaining what is the final goal you are looking for by doing it.

i think the both ways is good but i prefer texting messages because i have time to write all the instructions without missing some information

Sometimes, I prefer to write them a note. But the best way is call and speak to them in the meeting. I think it is the best way and suitable for team members because sometimes, If they didn't check the notes or email, it can be trouble for all. I suggested to speak to them is the best way.

No, I don't email.
But I'd like to speak throughout a voice message by what's up, it's an easy way and quickly, I am using everyday that thing.

From my perspective it depends on a situation. If I give a short, everyday instructions I definitely prefer the oral ones. But if I give more complicated, composed of many points instructions I prefer the written ones. It can help not to forget about something important.

I'd like to write an email note so it look more profession. On the other hand, the information is greater clearly.

I think the best way to give instructions is through the two options - talk frontally with a person and also write a note.
To me this is a guarantee of perfect understanding.

I like I was be clearly and specific so always I give my instructions by the note or email..

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