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Career Progression - and Waffle!

(7 Posts)
LeeMills Wed 27-May-20 17:21:39

Hi all,

I need help with a problem I have - I never seem to answer the question at work. I receive email from my managers asking me how an account is progressing and instead of keeping it short and to the point, I waffle and explain things they don’t really need to know and include information they never asked for. I don’t know why I do it, but I know when I’m doing it.

I need to practice at this - are there any books or guides out there that I can practice with to help me answer the question? I don’t really want to go to my managers and ask this as I’m a little embarrassed by this.

I know I can do this and I’m a good learner - I just need some guidance and quickly.

Anybody have any suggestions at how I can write an email and answer the question first time?

Thanks all,


OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Wed 27-May-20 17:26:43

Write it and reread it before you send and get rid of anything trivial unless it’s likely to become a big problem. Put yourself in your managers shoes and think about what you have written as them, what valuable information does it give them or is it just a nice to know (cut those out).

CraftyGardener Wed 27-May-20 17:35:17

I wouldn't feel shy about having the conversation with your manager. Pitch it as 'as part of my self development I'm working on my communication. I know I have a tendency to waffle and it would be beneficial for you if I were more concise when giving you status updates. Can I please get some feedback on exactly the type on info you need so I can make sure I have it prepared for speedy updates?'

Then follow up at your next catch up to see if they've noticed an improvement.

Asking for support with self improvement isn't a sign of weakness, it's the sign of an ambitious and hard working person who in confident in themselves to have the guts to ask for constructive feedback. I'd be thrilled if one of my team asked about things like this!

LeeMills Sun 31-May-20 18:02:45

Thanks for the replies peeps - I have a framework / script to work with and hopefully I'll see an improvement.


OP’s posts: |
WhatWouldDominicDo Sun 31-May-20 18:19:14

Send the email to yourself and read it after about 30 mins. If you like it, send it. If not, rewrite it.

I once had a manager who told us he loses interest if an email was more than a couple of sentences long, and wouldn't read it. Now that really focuses the mind!

PaulinePetrovaPosey Sun 31-May-20 18:52:38

I'd use a template like this:

This week (month/day/ whatever) we're focused on X main objective.

To do this we've done ABC.

B has gone very well (1 sentence of detail).

C needs more work so we're doing (1 sentence of detail).

xXDazedXx Wed 03-Jun-20 21:37:02

I used to have to give a 30 minute standardised verbal presentation to different groups and individuals. I remember one time they were running so short of time I was told I have only 5 minutes and should just ensure I cover the key points of what they really wanted to know. That was a fast way to learn how to get to the point. You need to take the same approach with your emails.

I would try to keep to a 'template' which perhaps says Account is progressing well but I have the following issues (bullet points) and intend to resolve them by xyz. Imagine they only ever read the first 5 lines of your email. Would they get what they need from it?

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