If you call to Rover “Come here!”, either Rover comes or he remains seated. The belief in the effectiveness of instructions is, nevertheless, not easily shaken. Many bosses believe they can anchor the employees to the goals via instructions. Thereby the following is overlooked:
• Instructions are usually less complicated and complex than reality. Therefore, employees who (only) follow instructions, regularly fall into situations which were not foreseen in the instruction. Think of instruction manuals. The people giving the instructions, on the other hand, do not reckon with the independent life of those who have been instructed. Amongst software developers, this is often described with the acronym DAU (daftest, assumed user). Thus, instructions are only suitable for stable, and not too complex, conditions.
• Instructions contain a tendency to demotivate or to also create resistance and rebellion. This lies in the fact that the self-determination need of the employees is compromised; they are deprived of their freedom and the resultant security is often not perceived as such but rather, as a straitjacket. Nobody likes being depowered. This aspect is easily overlooked by the instructors, because, for them, the rapid solution to problems has more prominence.
For these two reasons, instructions have limited use and are only suitable for specific topics, as a means of setting goals. Otherwise, it requires dialogue and communicative loops. This is more time consuming but less illusory. As stated above: Rover either comes or he does not. When team members remain seated, however, it is not so obvious.