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How to Deal with Chatty Co-workers?Networking September 21, 2015
Most workplaces are usually rife with co-workers going chatty about their troubled relationships, wedding plans, children issues, life challenges or the movie they caught up on last weekend – anything or everything – that they are disturbing the focus of other members in the team. Such co-workers are a source of distraction in productive work set-up.
Co-workers who just can’t stop complaining or talking senseless topics get annoying at a point in time. They impact productivity and do not allow you to be at peace. This causes strained relationships with your peers and co-workers.
While you cannot be rude to colleagues or co-workers and ask them to be quiet, politely talking out the situations helps sort out issues at work. The best way to approach chatty co-workers is to be politely assertive about boundaries by keeping communication simple and direct.
Here are 5 quick and easy tips to deal with a chatty co-worker:
- Explain politely that you’re busy: While this may sound obvious to know and understand, sometimes chatty co-workers need to be told that you’re busy and need some time off to focus on your work. If you haven’t told them this already like “I am on deadline and I cannot talk now,” or “I am in the middle of something, can we talk later?” they maybe under an assumption that you are available for a conversation or chat.
- Communicate directly about the problem: If your co-worker doesn’t respect your need to focus on work, after mentioning it loud and clear on numerous occasions, you will have to start communicating directly. Such as for example, you can say, “I’ve noticed you like to chat during work hours, but am always running on deadline and its difficult for me to do so. Maybe we can socialise after work hours during weekends.” Try making your co-workers understand that it is difficult to focus with many unwarranted interruptions. Maybe the team and co-workers should schedule a day of the week for social discussions.
- Offer to connect with co-workers on your own terms: If you do enjoy talking to your co-worker but work keeps you too occupied to make time for a chat session, then perhaps you can steal some time off during lunch breaks and coffee evenings to catch up on social life. However, this doesn’t have to be done, if you do not enjoy interaction with your co-worker.
- Keep emphasising on the message till you retrain your co-worker to respect your commitment to duties at work. Reiterate constantly on the fact that you’ve a deadline to meet and cannot spend time chit-chatting during these crucial times.
- When everything fails to make your co-worker understand directly and indirectly, then it’s time to approach the manager to discuss the situation. Depending on the manager’s reaction and the dynamics at your office, most managers would welcome this opportunity to identify colleagues who distract other committed workforce. When you confront the higher-ups make sure to mention that you’ve tried resolving the situations within your limits by talking to the co-worker who fails to understand the importance of deadlines and keeps bothering you.
These tips should help you deal with chatty co-workers effectively by keeping them at an arm’s length and avoid distractions at work.
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