Following Directions: Use these sample phrases to craft meaningful performance evaluations, drive change and motivate your workforce.

Following Directions is the skill of carefully considering the given instructions and following them closely without fail.

Following Directions: Exceeds Expectations Phrases

  • Listens intently in order to understand what one needs to do and deliver appropriately
  • Is highly organized; takes notes in order to capture every detail instead of trying to remember everything
  • Asks questions when slightly unsure of what one is being asked to do in order to find out all the needed details to move forward
  • Checks things off as one goes to make sure one does not miss anything and reviews the work after it is done
  • Is respectful; listens when the bosses talk and only responds when one is asked to
  • Is attentive to one's tasks and avoids making the bosses ask one to do something more than once
  • Does what one can to help around the office without being specifically ordered to do so
  • Considers the employer's point of view instead of arguing about it, shouting or being uncompassionate
  • Immediately summarizes what one has heard and verifies the procedures and directions one has been given before starting a task
  • Divides a task into phases and sets up a follow up with one's manager to discuss the already finished phases in order to make sure one is headed in the right direction

Following Directions: Meets Expectations Phrases

  • Expresses one's disagreement in a polite manner; calmly explains one's side of things with facts, and does not only rely on feelings
  • Makes sure one has all the information needed before starting any task or project in order to avoid producing incorrect work
  • Prepares a project board to display pertinent information, a timeline and the names of people involved in a project and their tasks
  • Makes sure not to misread or skip an important direction; pays attention to detail, even if it seems insignificant to one
  • Keeps copies of detailed and complicated directions on files for projects and tasks that are done infrequently, for future reference
  • Consults with someone familiar with how a task is done, if possible, to make sure one is doing it right
  • Reads directions in the order they are written on the project and avoids skipping ahead and forgetting to go back
  • Pays attention to long-term projects and makes sure to not fritter away one's time at work surfing on the internet
  • Does what one is asked to do in the workplace as long as it is moral, reasonable and harmless
  • Maintains eye contact when receiving instructions in order to show the instructor one is interested

Following Directions: Needs Improvement Phrases

  • Assumes one knows everything thus does not bother to seek clarification on things that are not clear before starting a task or project
  • Frequently misses important information thus, causes breakdown in communication which leads to incorrect work and lack of business
  • Does not take notes when receiving oral directions; just listens to the instructor without noting key points down
  • Does not read written directions carefully; quickly gets bored with reading lengthy instructions
  • Reads directions but often mixes up tasks that need to be done in a certain order
  • Does not review tasks after finishing them thus often submits incorrect work or work with errors
  • Considers reading instructions a waste of time; rushes through tasks just to complete them in time without reading instructions thus, makes lots of mistakes
  • Shies away from asking for clarification to avoid dealing with people who think that one does not understand the directions or does not know how to do the job
  • Does not take time to understand the purpose of the instructions
  • Does not ask for help from the instructor or colleagues who have done the same tasks or projects

Following Directions: Self Evaluation Questions

  • Can you give an example of a time when you were able to demonstrate your ability to follow instructions?
  • How do you make sure that you remember all the instructions you have received to perform a certain task?
  • Which is one time you have made mistakes due to not following directions? Were the mistakes fixed? How did you do it?
  • How do you react to a colleague who regularly fails to follow instructions?
  • How do you help a colleague improve his/her ability to follow instructions?
  • Describe a situation when you felt that instructions to a certain task or project were not communicated well. What did you do?
  • Can you describe a time when you received complex instructions? How did you make sure you understood each and every detail?
  • Is there a time when you have had to speak up in order to be sure that the instructor knew what you thought or felt about the instructions?
  • Is there a time you have had a conflict with a customer or colleague due to not following simple instructions? How did you resolve the conflict?
  • Describe a time when you missed some steps in a project due to not paying attention to details. How did you fix it?

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