Friday, June 5, 2015

What is the needful?

Kindly do the needful. If you analyse the statement, it is a simple instruction. The real power of the statement lies in the ambiguity. What does the speaker or writer mean by the needful? How do one find out the needful? How much effort will be expended to find out the needful? The chances are that you have encountered such request in the past in your professional life. What was your reaction? I would like to know for I talked to a friend over the phone who was very upset with such requests. I can understand his point of view. When they are multiple requests, the search for an answer can consume a lot of your time.

The professional world is full of forwards and replies with FYIs and FYAs. Both are dangerous. With shrinking of the available time at the workplace with everyone on the run to do more with less, what does FYI aka "For your information" mean? Is this something I have to worry now, tomorrow or in another 15 days? Compared to FYI, FYA is specific. For your action. But what is the action here? Sometimes, the subject line can be misleading. The conversation might have started on a simple subject where Q & A has shifted the whole discussion to different pastures altogether. Sometimes, the Q & A spans multiple pages that it's hard to figure out what is the action in "For your action".

What stops us from adding a line or even a paragraph while sending out to do the needful? I wouldn't belittle the efforts by saying it might take only 2 minutes of your time. It takes more than 10 minutes for me to articulate the needful while sending it across to someone else. Although I am usually struggling to find the right words and also always wary about the borrowed time from other tasks, it usually works out for me in a different way. I usually get speedy resolutions without spending additional time. Next time, do yourself a favour. The next time you ask for the needful, try writing two sentences on what is the needful. Let me know how that worked out for you.

Tags: Musings, Needful, Request

8 comments:

  1. Yes, I am going to do that and be more specific.. :) Thanks for sharing.

    Please do check my post and vote:

    https://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=452573

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Also, please let me know if that is working out for you

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  2. Whevever I get such requests I just do things that I feel are right.

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    1. How do know what is right? You might be spending time and energy on that. On one hand, it is very nice of you. On the other hand, how many of such requests would you be able to handle in a day?

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  3. Hehehe, totally agree with you Nona! I really get pissed with such 'needful' instructions... people ought to do better!!
    Cheers, Archana :) www.drishti.co

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    1. I agree it gets on to one's nerves when there is a lot to do and you are bombarded with such emails. :)

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  4. He he :D . the generic colloquialities :D .. I too get very confused when someone says do the needful or FYI. I think FYI is even more confusing for me - am I really expected to reply to it? How does it work? It kinda feels lazy to me. It is better to have things more specific and clearer.

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    Replies
    1. People have less time these days and they want to move things out of their desk

      Delete

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