If you’re a manager, it may be common practice for you to email one of your team members and say “I need you to do this task/project.” But according to author Monica Torres, this isn’t the best approach. When you say “I need you to do this task,” it can come across as abrupt. In addition, you’re not allowing the other person to offer opinions or suggestions. You’re basically saying “just do it,” and you’re not giving the other person the opportunity to provide feedback.

And feedback is actually a very valuable thing! Yes, you need a certain task to be completed. But if you’re open to feedback, you might learn that there’s a better, more effective approach to getting the work done.

So what should you say instead? Here are two options:

  • “I’d like you to do this task/project. What do you think?”
  • “Here is the situation/problem that needs to be addressed. What do you think we should do? Can you help with this?”

According to Torres, these statements will make your team members feel respected. They’ll realize that their opinions matter, and they’ll be encouraged to share whatever helpful information they might have. In addition, they’ll feel free to ask questions and get clarification about what needs to be done.

Also, make sure to tell your team members why something needs to be done and when it needs to be completed. This will help them to feel included in the effort and allow them to prioritize their tasks appropriately.

Torres, M. (2021, February 19). Why you shouldn’t say ‘I need you to… ‘ at work. HuffPost. Retrieved from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-need-you-to-at-work_l_6026d622c5b6591becd88f13