Is that the intent, or is it for clarity? When you give workplace explanations what are you truly trying to express?
When the work comes up short and the effort is in question, someone will likely attempt to give an explanation.
The explanation doesn’t contain all of the detail. It’s a nugget, a piece of the story, not the entire version because that would seem unproductive.
Instead, a truncated version is offered. It attempts to direct the listener to a better understanding.
I purchased a rather expensive new laptop recently. It came with one tiny slip of paper in the box. There was no instruction manual or a booklet. Just a website link or two. An explanation of how to seek help if you need it.
There is an assumption though. The assumption is that you already have another method to locate additional information. If you can’t access the web, you’re somewhat stuck.
What if you need a deeper explanation?
A trouble spot with explanations are the assumptions.
It may often be an attempt to guide the feature outcomes. You tell the story as you want it perceived for understanding.
It won’t be finished today; we received the wrong part.
The customer changed her mind so we had to start over.
No one mentioned that they wanted that shade of green.
The story may omit certain details. Details of the evolution of the project, a passage of blame, or request for empathy.
More information is sometimes required, yet it may be left out of the discussion.
In some cases, it is an intentional steering or shaping of the project and its outcomes.
It may be perceived as a time saver. You don’t need to know the details; you just need to know that it is so. Taken to the extreme it may represent a do as I say, not as I do.
People tell stories. Their story may leave out some details. Those details shape the impressions of the listeners and ultimately the outcome of future endeavors.
When in doubt ask more questions. The explanation is nearly always only a part of the complete story.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.