Today's learning lesson on How To Make It Happen: Never assume. It's too easy to second guess or read into someone's words.
If someone you work with requests something - send them what they ask for! If they ask you a question answer it!
Example #1: "Please send me XYZ report by the end of business." Send the entire report! Don't send the last page with the total results on it. The requester didn't ask for that. They asked for the report.
Assume the positive: it's better for the requester to have the entire report rather than sending one page and they have to circle back with a second request for the additional pages.
Assuming the negative: You send one page when the requester needed information from other parts of the report. You now create more work for your self and the requester. The requester also walks away from the situation with a negative perception of YOU and how you handle business.
Example #2: "Hey, did you contact that Manager Candidate yet?" Answer with a yes or no! Don't explain how you are gathering up resumes or how someone called out sick the day before.
Assume the positive: the requester is simply gauging where you are with the process. They may not even care about the timing. If they have a concern they will follow-up to your answer.
Assuming the negative: the requester may end up with a perception of YOU being unorganized or untimely simply because you gave them information they did not ask for. Trust me, he or she will ask for more insight if they want it.
Of course you can always pick up the phone and ask a quick question but take a breath and read the email or listen to the voicemail again. If the request was specific, make it happen.
You will become known as the "Go-To" person on your team when you can be relied upon to provide information with one call or email.
Make it happen.