Showing our work

Attempts at succinct communication – especially to executive audiences – regularly fall apart thanks to our tendency to “show our work.”

This tendency is hardwired into us from our time in school. Showing our work => showing our process => we get a partial score even if we get the answer wrong.

At work, however, those assumptions don’t hold. We’re trusted to run a good process (unless we prove otherwise) and the folks around us are interested in the end-product of that process.

Ergo, the note to self -> resist that urge to show your work. Lead with the answer and index on simplicity and clarity when explaining the details vs. comprehensiveness.