Tip #4–Avoid giving too much explanation

Posted on April 9, 2007. Filed under: Blog--All categories, Management development |

We often get into trouble with our coworkers and supervisors because we spend too much time explaining why something wasn’t done rather than how we plan to solve the situation. Instead of offering an explanation, offer a proactive solution.

The key with this tip is understanding what our coworkers and supervisors hear when we offer explanations: typically when we explain the why of something not getting done, what they hear is excuses. Sure, we may be giving them valid reasons; but what they are interested in is knowing what we plan to do to resolve the situation.

Exercising your management fitness means presenting at least one solution to every problem you present to your manager. Managers have several staff members reporting to them. If each of those staff members brought their problems to their manager to solve, managers wouldn’t be able to get their own work done.

Managers appreciate and look for staff members who not only identify problems in a timely manner but who also present solutions for those problems. When staff members do that, they are lifting some of the burden from their manager’s shoulders and developing a reputation as an integral team member with that manager.

When you have a situation that requires you to explain why something wasn’t done, plan ahead. Before you take that situation to your manager or coworkers,

  1. think through some options to resolve the situation first
  2. present the facts of the situation to the relevant persons
  3. present at least one workable solution

Following this pattern consistently will develop your skills as a valuable team member and improve your reputation on your team.


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