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I recently was on a call where we deployed one of IT projects to production with about 30 people (many from top management) and our technical support team. There was one person from the support team who likes to make remarks. After we proceed with the deployment, about in 30 minutes this person asked what we are doing right now. I explained our step. He said: "Please, always let us know what you are doing, we have to know". I told him on the call that we informed about this step before during the call (I explained it 10 min ago on the same call but somehow he didn't get it), while he repeated the same: "Please, always let us know what you are doing, we have to know".

The problem I have that this person from the tech support team sounds a little bit political as if I said that we already informed about our steps, he can just believe it if his real intention was to clarify. Somehow, he wanted to say this remark publicly and repeat it after my answer and I didn't like it and it sounds to me more political rather than cooperative.

My goal is to find out how I can handle a similar situation with him during the next time. I didn't want to talk too much on that call personally with him, as the management on the call might get a feeling that we are fighting. I had some ideas to answer the next time like this: "Perhaps, you were not around when I communicated our actions about this step. We are proceeding with the deployment. If there are still any questions, I can ask one of my developers to come to your room and explain it."

How would you handle it?

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Whatever the reasons for this persons remarks are, ignoring them could put you in a negative light.

If someone tells you

Please, always let us know what you are doing, we have to know.

They basicly want you to constantly explain your actions. Treat it like one of those cooking shows on TV. The cook is almost constantly talking for the sake of entertainment, because watching him silently prepare food is boring. He even comments things you can clearly see on camera like:

Now I'm cutting these carrots in slices and add them to the pan. Just a little salt is enough. Shake the pan to turn them around and fry all pieces evenly.

If someone wants to be entertained in an rollout of an IT project, it could sound like this:

Now we distribute the package to the server. The unpacking process unfortunately takes a while. We configured this module beforehand according to the specifications you gave us.

Additional benefit: It's rude to talk over someone. So as long as you keep droning on, you give other people less chances for commenting on your work and asking additional things of you.

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The answer to the remark would be: "We went over this ten minutes ago. If you need more explanations then talk to me after the meeting".

There were 29 people in the meeting who didn't benefit from his question and your possible answer, so this should be discussed outside the meeting.

  • this is neat, I like it – Mark Jul 29 '18 at 8:08
  • A variant of this would be to ask the group if they want you to repeat your explanation. That way you show that you are willing to explain more, but that you don't want to hold up things if there isn't a need. It will also potentially isolate the 'troublemaker'. – user90984 Aug 7 '18 at 15:31
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Some people like to sound officious at others expense. You handled it fine. Best to ignore it, at the moment you don't actually know it will happen again. If it does just do the same thing politely.

Anyone who was actually listening properly in the call will know you already explained it.

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