Written by Telana Simpson

Frames of Mind– Part 2

As we started looking at Frames of Mind in a previous post, (Part 1), remember that these frames of mind are very contextual, and are only more useful or less useful depending on the context.

We’re going to be looking at our frames of mind about dealing with instructions here. It’s the frame of mind to do with our organisational style.

Organisational Style: Options vs Procedures

When it comes to dealing with or giving instructions, or getting something done, we have two broad responding styles: the procedures style or the options style.How to give instructions effectively

Those that prefer options, work better at developing new procedures and figuring out alternatives to a strategy. They don’t enjoy procedures, especially if they have already done that procedure. If it works, they would much rather improve it or change it. They value alternatives and search for new and different approaches.

On the other side of the continuum are those who prefer procedures – they like to follow specific and definite sequences of actions. They may not know how to create the procedures, but give them a process and they thrive on doing it just right. Procedures motivate them, and they enjoy a sense of closure, so prefer to complete procedures.

So where are you? As I ask you the next questions, just note your answers.

  • Why did you choose your job?
  • Why did you choose your bank?

If your answer was a reason, and one that is about choosing or options, you’d be more of an option person. If your answer was more of a story, with lots of facts, and you didn’t mention choosing, you have more of a procedural orientation. You probably answered more of a “how” you chose your job question than a “why” you chose it.

And so now that you have an idea of your frame of mind, what would you guess is your colleague’s? Or your family member? Of a loved one? Are you on the same side of the continuum or not?

How to communicate a task request or instruction

Knowing that now, how would you change the way you present a task or request to that person?

When communicating with someone who has more of an options frame of mind, talk about the possibilities and options and innovations involved in the task. Avoid giving them fixed step-by-step procedures. Rather play it by ear and emphasize all of the alternatives available to them.

When talking with someone who prefers procedures, give them specific details of the process that clearly takes them from where they are to completing the task. Give them ways of dealing with procedures that break down and allow them to finish processes to get closure. You can also number things as in points 1, 2, 3 or 5 steps to close a deal.

Next time, we’ll look at another frame of mind, about how we compare information.

To effective communicating!

About the Author:

Telana Confidence Trainer | Inner Coaching | imageTelana is a dynamic, transformational Personal Coach and Blogger who specializes in communicating and relating.  She is fascinated by consciousness evolution and goes on adventures to push her boundaries and preconceptions.  She offers coaching and training programmes to help individuals develop their ability to express themselves and their potentials and improve their relationships, and is a host of an online TV show.

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