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We have some co-workers we love, some we hate, and some that just never stop talking. It can be fun...sometimes, but other times it's a distraction. But you don't want to hurt a co-workers feelings to make them stop....or do you? You do need them to stop so you can actually get some work done.
So how can you get them to stop talking in a polite, respectful way? Here are some tips for handling a chatty coworker that shouldn’t cause any workplace tension.
- Determine your priorities and set boundaries. This will help you keep your work, and the time it takes you to get your work done, in perspective. It’s a reminder that you can’t stay late to get work done because you have other priorities.
- Have a kind, empathetic conversation. Have an open and honest conversation with them about how you need to promptly get your work done. You can tell them about your other priorities and your work responsibilities and let them know your boundaries.
- Suggest specific times for chatting. Offer to go out for coffee during your lunch break or schedule a time for a virtual chat. This way there’s a specific designated time for chatting and you can designate the other time for your work.
- Practice techniques to redirect interruptions. Have some go-to responses ready, like telling your coworker about that tight deadline you have or saying that you’re in the middle of a task and really can’t lose focus right now.