People affected with ADHD often explain too much. Instead of giving a direct answer we often like to contextualize what we are about to say because all details seem equally important to us. This may be fine in casual conversation with family and friends but can be detrimental in the work place.

As the saying goes – time is money. Often, we take too long with our responses because we like to tell a story or metaphor when we answer a question. We often give too much information which can cause our audience to grow impatient or bypass asking us for information at all.

I think the reason we explain too much is because we are processing our thoughts as we speak and working our way toward an answer. Also, I think that because we often have difficulty prioritizing. Figuring out what is necessary to say to convey our point can be difficult.

Years ago, a client I was coaching struggled with saying either too much or inappropriate things at work. People would become impatient with him to get to the point and want him to leave out extraneous details. We worked a long time on this. What we came up with is for him to ask himself internally if a detail was absolutely necessary to convey his point. If so, only then would he divulge that particular detail. The hope was to streamline his responses to questions. Reasoning that if the listener needed more information they would ask. That was helpful for the client to remember that people will ask for more detail if they feel it is necessary. Also, one can offer at the end of their response to fill in more details if requested. This leaves the door open for the listener to follow up if they want to.

We also worked on prepping before meetings. Spending a little time anticipating what information one might need to relay during a meeting can be helpful. You then have time to think of the most direct way to convey specific ideas. Then when the meeting occurs at least you are prepared for some of your answers. Obviously, there will be questions you didn’t anticipate but that is the nature of work. Spending a little time in advance preparing responses to anticipated questions will help you be more succinct.

Becoming more succinct in the workplace can be difficult but it can be practiced and improved upon.