Chapter 39. Don’t Explain and Don’t Complain: No One Likes Whining

There’s an old saying: “When someone asks what time it is, he doesn’t want to be told how to build a clock.” It sounds obvious when put like that. However, it’s amazing how many of us, when asked a question, particularly when we are tense and on our guard or keen and eager to please, opt for describing the clock! This trait is something to avoid, particularly in a business environment, where people just want to get things done quickly and efficiently.

Almost nothing annoys people more at work than others explaining or complaining at length. Both activities generate “antibodies”—colleagues whose unfavorable opinion of you can inhibit career progress. People either become irritated ...

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