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In New Zealand workplaces people use a number of different ways to give instructions politely. Many migrants find these instructions confusing.

Lilli does not seem sure what she has to do. What would you do if you were Lilli?


  • Ask a colleague.

  • Check with Mary before she leaves.

  • Nothing. Mary has said the report is fine and that she will add the spreadsheet.


Lilli does not seem sure what she has to do. What would you do if you were Lilli?


  • Feedback

    Lilli could do this, but it would be better to check with Mary. If you are unsure, you should always clarify with the person who gave the instruction. Someone else may not know what Mary wants.

    Yes, this would be a good thing to do. Mary has not been very direct in her instructions to Lilli, so it is not surprising that Lilli is unsure. Lilli could say, 'Can I check with you what you want me to do'?

    No, Lilli has not understood. Although Mary is quite pleased with the report so far, she now wants Lilli to put in the spread sheet and expand the section on the reporting requirement.


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