How to ask a chatty colleague to shut the hell up


Estimated reading time: 1 mins

Chatty colleagues – those people who interrupt you over the pod divisions at almost every breath – are mega-annoying, aren’t they? Want to ask them to stop?

You might have avoided asking them to shut their mouth so far, because like any other polite person, you don’t want to upset or be rude. But I guess your annoyance is building up and you’re ready to blow your top at any moment!

So nip this in the bud, now.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Invite the motor-mouth for a coffee-fix, frappe, or whatever your poison is
  2. Say  that, in order to do your job properly, you need to work in silence/you need to be in deep concentration/you need to focus on doing your tasks accurately – use whichever works for you
  3. Then say that you are finding it difficult to do this, and that silence will be appreciated in order to work, and ask for their help in achieving this: and don’t directly accuse anything
  4. If you feel inclined to do so, you could offer to this person that instead of constant chatter, you could meet once a day/once a week (whichever) for a few minutes to have a chat
  5. Be nice, smile lots and don’t let your annoyance get the better of you

And also consider…

  • Many people chatter because they lack confidence or have self-esteem issues
  • Many people chatter because they believe it’s a way of earning your friendship
  • Some people chatter because they’re bored
  • Very few people chatter to be rude or be annoying

So if you’re generous of spirit, give the chatterbox the benefit of doubt and solve the problem in a way that preserves their dignity! Good luck!


About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Truthsayers Neurotech, the world's first Neurotech platform servicing the enterprise. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development and Associate Member of the Agile Business Consortium.

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