At my past job there was a strong sense of needing to justify oneself and save face and every little thing people explained. For example once someone bumped into a door and set off an alarm and elaborated on how he barely touched it. Another time someone had to leave early for a massage appointment and explained how they would owe $100 if they were late. At my new job this really isn't the culture and I noticed I still am doing quite a bit of justification myself.
How do you know when an explanation is not needed to be given? For example I was installing server software and ran into a problem where the graphics were malformed. I informed my supervisor I was still working on installing the program, what detail should I give? Should I describe the strange appearance on the screen? What I tried trouble shooting I had done? What trouble shooting I will do? Or should I not say anything until he asks? Should I ask him in general how much I should report to him?
My old boss told me I asked too many questions. He told me this twice. After the first time I went several weeks without asking him any questions, so I was surprised when he said it again. I commented how sometimes I may be giving him information and not necessarily asking a question. He advised me to approach him and say "would you like an update". It sounds good in theory but I've never seen anyone ever do it. Is it a good idea to say "would you like an update?" How would the boss answer if he knows nothing of what you want to tell him?