. If you want a person to function to the best of their abilities when performing tasks, that person must have:
1. An understanding of main principles under which the tasks are to be performed (for example when building a house: safety first. structural integrity, finished look, cost, timeframe...)
2. An understanding of the process(es) involved.
3. All necessary resources (includes current and learnable abilities).
4. An understanding how to use tools and other machines.
5. All necessary decision-making ability to complete the task unless the decision-maker is available as needed.
If the decision-maker is not the same person performing the task, the decision-maker must understand, once task performance begins, questions will arise; therefore, the decision-maker must be easily accessible, otherwise task performance will be delayed or may not go as intended.
When task performer and decision-maker are not the same person, there is less of an incentive for the task performer to make improvements to the task. There is more of an incentive to just do as told.
6. At a minimum, decision-makers who are not the task performer must be forward thinkers and expansive thinkers in order to address potential questions and situations in advance. This must be communicated to the task performer and the task performer must repeat the instructions. Under all circumstances when task performer and decision-maker are not the same person, the task performer must feel at ease to ask any and all questions. The decision-maker must be careful when addressing questions that the task performer could have figured out or was already told – unless the information was written down. Each time a question arises, the decision-maker should always seek to understand how to alleviate the need for the same type of question in the future and how to clear up misunderstandings without diminishing the task performer's incentive to function to the best of their abilities.
7. The task performer can never be made to feel like it's not okay to ask a question or that too many questions have been asked or that they have to wait too long to ask the question or get an answer.
8. Decision-makers must understand, if a task performer must have the time available to be a task performer, then the decision-maker must also have the time available to be a decision-maker.
9. The decision-maker should not supervise infrequently and limit availability for questions and then come in and supervise after task performance and point out things not done as expected.
10. Decision-makers must be patient and must be prepared to talk through their decision-making process with the task performer so the task performer can make more decisions using the decision-maker's thought process. This may have to be written out. It will definitely require seveal adjustments and revisions between task performer and decision-maker as task performance unfolds. If a person is capable of being a decision-maker, they should also be conscientious about being an instructor.
11. Task performer and decision-maker must both understand each of them have philosophies and ways of doing things. In many situations, if the task performer has a different way of doing things that still accomplishes the task without violating the main principles necessary to complete the task as intended, then the task performer should be given this leeway.
12. Even if the decision-maker has performed the task before, to the point of perfection or to the point of their own satisfaction, the decision-maker must remain open to a different task performer wanting or needing to do the task at least slightly different. If this leeway is not always available, the decision-maker runs the risk of turning the task performer into an order taker and a rule follower rather than someone learning and growing to become the best they can be.
13. Because the decision-maker has the greater authority and greater responsibility, the decision-maker must also understand this includes the need to have greater understanding of the dynamics involved when task performer and decision-maker are not the same person. The decision-maker must always strive to help the task performer remain a prepared and relaxed task performer. The decision-maker should keep anxieties and worries hidden unless they can be stated non-emotionally and matter-of-factly (don't make a big deal out of things).
14. Over a period of time, the decision-maker should train the task performer to make decisions by not answering questions directly but by asking for suggestions or opinions or what would you do and why. By listening to the responses and filling in missing pieces of the information and considerations necessary to make the best decision, decision-makers can help task performers perform better. Any person whose judgment is not trusted should not be in a task performer/decision-maker relationship with you.
15. Decision-makers must also understand that a general understanding of tasks and experience performing tasks from start to finish are not the same things. So it's one thing to make decisions and assign tasks and it's another thing to be able to perform the tasks based on decisions made and based on all other points made in this message. Every decision has the potential to impact task performance and expected results. The decision-maker must remain keenly aware of this and always ask for feedback from the task performer of how the decision will impact the task.
16. One of the worst responses a task performer can give to another is “it's our policy” or “That's just how we do it.” (Decision-makers are task performers.)
17. At some point, after all these things have taken place, both the task performer and decision-maker should be able to tell whether or not the task, task performer and decision-maker are the best combination.
18. For those seeking to optimize task performance rather than maximize something else, these points will help facilitate dynamic offering and handling of suggestions which will mercifully eliminate the need for the insulting “false concern for what you think could be better” suggestion boxes.
"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)
“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”