• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
Your Office Coach

Deal with the well-meaning interrupter

Get PDF file

by on
in Your Office Coach

Q: “You have previously said that cubicle conversations cannot be considered private because they take place in an open area. However, my situation is slightly different.

“Whenever someone comes to me with a question, the woman in the next cubicle yells out the answer before I have a chance to speak. I think it is very rude of her to butt in when someone has specifically asked for my opinion. How should I handle this?” Drowned Out

A: By trying to beat you to the answer, your know-it-all colleague is definitely overstepping her bounds. However, since you're not her boss, you appear to have only two choices. The first is to politely request an end to the interruptions.

For example: "Mary, I know you're just trying to help, but it really bothers me when you yell out an answer to someone who is asking me a question. I would appreciate your giving me time to respond. If I don't have the information, I will gladly refer the person to you."

Should you prefer not to have that conversation, your second option is to simply ignore her unsolicited input and continue with your own answer.

The key to giving effective feedback is to be honest, but not critical. Here are some tips for doing that: How to Give Feedback without Criticism.

Leave a Comment