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Open work areas call for a different view of ‘intrusions’

by on
in Your Office Coach

Q: “How do I keep an uninvited co-worker from joining my conversations? Whenever anyone stops to talk with me, the woman in the next cubicle interjects herself into our discussion. This is extremely annoying. Can I politely tell her to butt out without damaging our relationship?” No Privacy

A: The problem is not with your chatty colleague, but with your own expectations. In an open work area, discussions between co-workers are not private conversations. If the topic is confidential, you should move to a more secluded location.

Freezing out this woman would be both rude and inappropriate, so try to develop a friendlier attitude. To lessen your annoyance with her unsolicited participation, consider the fact that a quieter person might be likely to complain about the sound of your talking.

Co-workers often have disagreements about how much talking is appropriate at work. This may explain some of those conflicts: Are You More Extroverted or Introverted?

 

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