Author Topic: The flip side of commands disguised as a question  (Read 12474 times)

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KenveeB

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2012, 12:03:25 AM »
I was just trying to think about how I do this in my role as a boss.

I just realised that I always say "Can you...".    I use "can you" in that context because legitimately they may say "Yes but first I need to do XYZ" or "I'm not sure about ABC" or require further instruction.  But 90% of the time I would expect the answer to be "Yes absolutely" or "Yes I'll have it done by 3pm" or similar.   So it's not a command e.g. "Now do this!" but there's also a very clear expectation of compliance unless they raise a reason why they can't.

I would never say "would you like to" because quite frankly, they are my staff and whether they'd "like to" is irrelevant - we all have to do things we don't want to sometimes!   So I guess there's a line in between command versus request.

This. Honestly, I love my job, but I don't want to do a lot of the tasks to it. I do them because they're necessary, not because I want to do them. If my boss says "Can you" or "Will you", then my response is either "yes" or the reason why I can't do it just yet. "Would you like to" gets a "not really, but I can."

Okay, it gets that for my immediate boss. The big boss gets a "Yes, sir!" either way. ;)

Ceallach

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2012, 12:15:10 AM »
I was just trying to think about how I do this in my role as a boss.

I just realised that I always say "Can you...".    I use "can you" in that context because legitimately they may say "Yes but first I need to do XYZ" or "I'm not sure about ABC" or require further instruction.  But 90% of the time I would expect the answer to be "Yes absolutely" or "Yes I'll have it done by 3pm" or similar.   So it's not a command e.g. "Now do this!" but there's also a very clear expectation of compliance unless they raise a reason why they can't.

I would never say "would you like to" because quite frankly, they are my staff and whether they'd "like to" is irrelevant - we all have to do things we don't want to sometimes!   So I guess there's a line in between command versus request.

This. Honestly, I love my job, but I don't want to do a lot of the tasks to it. I do them because they're necessary, not because I want to do them. If my boss says "Can you" or "Will you", then my response is either "yes" or the reason why I can't do it just yet. "Would you like to" gets a "not really, but I can."

Okay, it gets that for my immediate boss. The big boss gets a "Yes, sir!" either way. ;)

To be honest, I think if I said "Would you like to..." to one of my staff I would almost be a teeny bit disappointed if they didn't respond with "Well no, but I'll do it for you anyway!"  >:D    I like how honest my team are.   

I did actually just think of one context where I have said "would you like to".  Right after training them in a new task but not sure if they're confident yet taking it on solo, I've said "Would you like to go ahead and do the rest, or would you prefer I show you a few more first?"   So in the context of actually wanting to know their preference, hence asking if they'd "like" to or not.   (Some people are keen to get hands on straight away and really want to get started, others prefer to watch a bit longer.  Different learning styles so it's fine by me either way!)
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Sophia

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2012, 08:30:20 AM »
I remember reading what has just been described as a frequent miscommunication problem between women and men when the woman is a manager.  I woman will phrase a task as a question. and the man will think it is optional since it was a question. 

Marbles

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2012, 11:14:05 PM »
To be honest, I think if I said "Would you like to..." to one of my staff I would almost be a teeny bit disappointed if they didn't respond with "Well no, but I'll do it for you anyway!>:D    I like how honest my team are.   

I had a boss that I could talk to like that when I was in college - and did. We had a great working relationship;D
And, really, what should he have expected when he asked whether I wanted to clean out the sump pump housing? No one wants to do that, but the work still needs to get done.

Ceallach

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2012, 02:31:53 AM »
To be honest, I think if I said "Would you like to..." to one of my staff I would almost be a teeny bit disappointed if they didn't respond with "Well no, but I'll do it for you anyway!>:D    I like how honest my team are.   

I had a boss that I could talk to like that when I was in college - and did. We had a great working relationship;D
And, really, what should he have expected when he asked whether I wanted to clean out the sump pump housing? No one wants to do that, but the work still needs to get done.

Lol.   It's interesting, because I suspect some might see it as a sign of disrespect, but I'd be worried if my staff couldn't be a teeny bit cheeky with me and have a laugh.   If things get too serious then I know they're under a lot of pressure and aren't happy.   (I'm lucky though, I have some awesomely committed people on my team who work ridiculously hard). 

But yeah, there's certain things I know they don't want to be doing....!   It wouldn't be work if there wasn't.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2012, 09:37:53 PM »

Quote
The problem with, "Would you like to?" for those of us who can't stand it isn't that it's a question, it's that it's not actually the question you're asking. 

This.  We just want you to ask the question you actually want the answer to.

I guess this is where I get confused, although tone of voice may play a role- I would find a command from my boss to be rather insulting.  I speak to my staff like I would like to be treated.  When I ask them "would you like to start the next appt?"  that IS what I mean and what I am asking.  They can answer no if they want to.  If they do not want to start the next appt there probably is a reason.  If they just plain hate their work so much that they just don't want to start the next appt, then I do not want them to do then next appt.

I guess you could argue that no one wants to do anything, but I guess I don't see that as true.

Aren't bosses supposed to tell you what to do, though?  Aren't they there to give you direction? 
No, because my license is mine and my bosses is hers.  She owns the building and the business, but I make the decisions regarding my patients and my cases. 

Similarly, my staff are the ones who keep things moving and draw my attention to what needs it next.  So I am kind of asking them for direction if I feel the afternoon is getting off, as they generally have a plan for getting everything done.  There are lots of ways to do it and while I could dictate what we do next, things often flow better if I let them handle that end of things.  It is more of a working together thing than an ordering anyone around thing.  It works for us.

She owns the building, so she can tell you what to do.  I think you're missing my point.  While a boss may not explicitly say what to do, they are there to give direction even in mundane aspects.  Your support staff may be able to give you direction as well in order to make things go more smoothly, but in the end, you, as the boss, have the say so.  That doesn't mean you're "commanding" anything, either.

Ambiguous question: Would you like to do X?

Direction and/or request:  (Would you) please do X.

Command:  Do X now.

All three of those are completely different.
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edgypeanuts

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2012, 12:05:15 PM »

Quote
The problem with, "Would you like to?" for those of us who can't stand it isn't that it's a question, it's that it's not actually the question you're asking. 

This.  We just want you to ask the question you actually want the answer to.

I guess this is where I get confused, although tone of voice may play a role- I would find a command from my boss to be rather insulting.  I speak to my staff like I would like to be treated.  When I ask them "would you like to start the next appt?"  that IS what I mean and what I am asking.  They can answer no if they want to.  If they do not want to start the next appt there probably is a reason.  If they just plain hate their work so much that they just don't want to start the next appt, then I do not want them to do then next appt.

I guess you could argue that no one wants to do anything, but I guess I don't see that as true.

Aren't bosses supposed to tell you what to do, though?  Aren't they there to give you direction? 
No, because my license is mine and my bosses is hers.  She owns the building and the business, but I make the decisions regarding my patients and my cases. 

Similarly, my staff are the ones who keep things moving and draw my attention to what needs it next.  So I am kind of asking them for direction if I feel the afternoon is getting off, as they generally have a plan for getting everything done.  There are lots of ways to do it and while I could dictate what we do next, things often flow better if I let them handle that end of things.  It is more of a working together thing than an ordering anyone around thing.  It works for us.

She owns the building, so she can tell you what to do.  I think you're missing my point.  While a boss may not explicitly say what to do, they are there to give direction even in mundane aspects.  Your support staff may be able to give you direction as well in order to make things go more smoothly, but in the end, you, as the boss, have the say so.  That doesn't mean you're "commanding" anything, either.

Ambiguous question: Would you like to do X?

Direction and/or request:  (Would you) please do X.

Command:  Do X now.

All three of those are completely different.

They are different questions, and "Would you like to do X?" is what I am asking. 

As far as "She owns the building, so she can tell you what to do."  Does that mean your landlord can tell you what to do day to day?  They establish rules, like don't remove walls or trash the place, but they do not get to tell you what to have for supper, what order to do your laundry, etc. 
In a licensed profession, you cannot use the excuse that I had to do it that way cause my boss said so, you will still be brought up on charges for violating your license.  Therefore what I do stops with me not my boss.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 12:15:27 PM by edgypeanuts »

RingTailedLemur

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2012, 01:48:46 PM »
Then she isn't your boss.

edgypeanuts

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2012, 07:20:03 PM »
Then she isn't your boss.

I'd tell her that, but I wouldn't want her to stop paying me!  ;D  She owns the business but being my boss does not mean that she can tell me how to do my job. 

Ceallach

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2012, 08:04:25 PM »
Then she isn't your boss.

I'd tell her that, but I wouldn't want her to stop paying me!  ;D  She owns the business but being my boss does not mean that she can tell me how to do my job.

It sounds as though you are in an unusual situation though - you are some form of professional who requires independent registration etc, correct?    So in some ways you function as an independent professional / contractor even though you're based in and working for her business at that particular time.       

So for example if you were a Dr she can't tell you "You should be prescribing XYZ to this patient!" but she can tell you "As you know it's our policy to charge for slots over 15 minutes, please ensure you either keep your consultations below 15min or charge the extra" or "Do not use the staff lunchroom for conducting urine tests"   ;D    So she has authority but only over the business practices, not over your independent clinical judgment.
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