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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

I usually use both speak and write an email to give my colleagues instructions.I wouldn't bother asking for a favor through email if I had someone I wanted to ask on the spot. When I ask for a favor via email, I use it when the other person isn't around. When I make a request via email, I change the text depending on the person I am asking. For example, a friend will write a polite request but in a slightly more casual way. I start off with a hello and get into the topic. However, I write more polite emails to teachers and college seniors. I'll be more attentive to those older than me and make sure there are no mistakes in my writing before I send them.
I've had this experience before. In a club I was in at university, I would check emails with my peers and then again with someone a year older than me to make sure they were correct. It was the first time since I started college that I had to check my email multiple times. I didn't know what was the right way to email my seniors and teachers in high school because I had never sent emails to them before. I'm very glad I had this opportunity to learn how to write emails.I always ask for the latest attention when communicating things verbally. Words are very difficult, so I always think before I start a conversation. Depending on how I'm perceived, I might make the other person uncomfortable. This goes for emails as well. I try to remember to be polite when I ask or request something.

I think it's depend on the situation. In urgent and difficult cases, I prefer speaking to them to writing them a note. because it is quick and they are understand easily. if they have any questions they can ask me directly so also avoid misunderstandings.

Sometimes is better to write them a note, and to explain in detail what are you asking from them, when they need to do it and how they can help you.
Its better to give them all the information that they need, and also to let them know that can contact you any time for the further information.
Dear Ana,
I would like to ask you a favor/
Tomorrow we are expecting 10 guests from X company at 10 a.m to discuss about the new product that we are going to launch the next month. I need to be well prepared for the presentation, and it will take me time. Can you please help me organize the meeting
-Could you please book a room for a meeting,
-Can you also contract a hospitality company, to provide me some food and drink for guests?
-Would you mind sending an email to all our team members, to tell them when and where the meeting will take place?
-Please make sure the room, will have facilities that I need to make my presentation
I will appreciate your help,
If you need any information from me, don't hesitate to contact me at any time.

I think both ways are important. You can't ignore conversation face-to-face, it's important to have eyes-contact with colleagues but giving instructions by notes or emails is also very useful

For me it is depends on what kind of things . if the thing is urgent and important , I prefer to call someone to make a instruction. if not I prefer to email them and give instructions.

It is better to write instructions specially when the work environment is so stressful.
When you write the instructions the person you asked wouldn't ask you again because it is written but if you just speak with him/her the possibility of forgotten would be more.

I usually use both speak and write an email to give my colleagues instructions.
By speaking, I can describe all of my ideas and make sure that my colleagues understand them. After that, I usually write the instructions via email and send it to colleagues relevant to this problem to ensure they remember and strictly follow it. I think it more effective than we just apply to speak or write.

Good luck

I would like to speak to someone rather than write a note to give them any instructions. Because I want to make them a clear idea about what I actually want to get and the time schedule. Besides the opponent could have any questions to be clear themselves so it would be a very effective way of answering their every query to provide them a clear idea about instruction.

Yasmin,

We'll receive in our locals the ONG President and her husband. They will arrive next Friday 11 November at 10 a.m.

Could you email all members of our team and ask them to be here at the moment the couple arrive? This is a personal demand of the President.

Would you organize a collective lunch for all the team and our guests?

As they'll spend the rest of the day at our locals, it would be nice to have some snacks and drinks to offer.

Thanks for your help. If you have any questions about this just let me know. I'll be at my office tomorrow morning, as usual.

Best,
Clarissa

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