I work for a software company in a busy office, obviously there will be some noise and distractions but the most prominant and most annoying is a colleague (For arguments sake let's call him John) who insists on pretty much saying everything he types, he sometimes talks to his code. I don't mind occasional mutterings but this is a constant droning, in fact as I was typing this question I know he has copied and pasted something (he shouted CTRL C, CTRL V) and is angry with somebody called Darren.

How do I approach him about how annoying this can be without upsetting him, or causing him physical harm.. lol.

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    Talk while you're typing: STFU. – user8365 Jul 24 '14 at 15:49
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    Best answer ever JeffO lol – Alec. Jul 24 '14 at 15:50
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    You may have to code a loop until he complies ;) – user8365 Jul 24 '14 at 15:58
  • Ask john if he is on antidepressants, or better still tell john that you are taking them and ask if he ever did. If he says Yeah i'm taking them now, then BINGO. Those pills will do that to someone. – Tasos Jul 24 '14 at 18:18
  • @Tasos — And then what ? – Nicolas Barbulesco Aug 23 '14 at 21:23

Intervene. Ask him for a private conversation. Make a classic "I" statement. Name the behavior you have observed, state the effect it has on you personally, and request a change. For example, "With respect, you vocalize a lot when you're working. I've heard you say [[whatever]] and [[whatelse]] just today. I find it very distracting when you do that. Would you be willing to try to change that?"

Behavior, effect, change. It's a simple and effective formula, and perfectly respectful.

Now look: the person will not say, "gosh! you're right! I will change my ways!" He may make excuses or try to argue. Don't argue. Don't speak for anyone else, only yourself. Just stick to your "behavior, effect, change" formula. Say your piece, and end the conversation.

And, be patient! It can be hard to change bad habits.

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    It can be really, really hard to change habits, so this will probably be a conversation you'll need to have several times, with patience (provided he reacts well the first time). – thursdaysgeek Jul 24 '14 at 16:27
  • Why would the colleague have to change his behaviour when @Alec has a problem with it ? – Nicolas Barbulesco Aug 23 '14 at 21:40

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