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Field personal questions without being rude

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Q. What should I say when I’m asked a personal question by one of my employees? I don’t want to be rude, but I also don’t want to answer it.

A. There are two approaches, one flip and one serious. In a joking tone, smile and ask, “What business is that of yours?” Then immediately ask a work-related question to change the subject. Or if you prefer a more direct response, say, “There are certain questions that are inappropriate to ask in the workplace, and that’s one of them.”

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