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Questions tagged [communication]

Questions about addressing difficult or complicated communication issues in the workplace. Communication in the workplace may take place in many forms (email, phone, face-to-face, IM) and between a variety of parties (coworkers, managers, reports, clients).

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379 votes
17 answers
54k views

My manager told me I should feel comfortable about telling him if I want to leave the company. Should I tell him?

I work as a software engineer and have been at my company for almost 3 years now. I have recently started considering other opportunities outside of my current role. There isn't anything particularly ...
Kevin Xu's user avatar
  • 3,800
289 votes
12 answers
56k views

Coworker is easily and often offended and doesn't want us to mention offensive topics like facial hair

We have an employee who seems to be easily offended by non-offensive things. The latest example is that we should not talk about how facial hair makes someone look different because this person is ...
Jeffery Douglas's user avatar
247 votes
23 answers
111k views

How to gently enforce "nohello" to a coworker?

I am a huge proponent of nohello in the workplace - I get way too many Slack messages and other interrupts to waste time on pleasantries. I keep my Slack status set to "nohello.com" as a way ...
thatgirldm's user avatar
  • 3,240
242 votes
9 answers
59k views

How can I inform my boss that I may have been hired by mistake?

I was hired at my current workplace just over a month ago. During the interview process, I found out that someone I knew from university was also interviewing for the position. I'll call him Jim. Jim ...
user78670's user avatar
  • 1,449
234 votes
12 answers
35k views

Dealing with the unexpected death of an employee

This morning, a bunch of news flashed around in our regional TV about the death of a young male, just out of his teens, killed in front of his house while going home from college last night. That kid ...
T. Sar's user avatar
  • 9,187
214 votes
9 answers
31k views

Is it okay for me to decline a project on ethical grounds?

I work for a big digital marketing agency as a Web Analyst. One of our clients is a sports betting website. In a recent meeting they asked us to help with a new strategy. It basically involves re-...
GijsApeldoorn's user avatar
212 votes
16 answers
70k views

How to thank an employee for working extra hours without making him feel pressured

I am a manager of a software developer who has been working late nights to complete a project in time for a deadline. He is a salaried employee so he does not get paid overtime. I am very thankful ...
CFL_Jeff's user avatar
  • 1,589
200 votes
14 answers
40k views

How to politely tell someone to stop explaining?

It happens occasionally, that I come across something I don't know how to do, and I need someone to show me. So I ask Bob for help, because Bob knows this stuff, and he comes over and starts ...
Benubird's user avatar
  • 3,907
190 votes
19 answers
43k views

How to talk to management about 'genius' code?

EDIT: Thanks everyone for the great advice, comments, and feedback. As it turns out, no one was the “bad guy” in this situation. The advice I received here helped me to get back in contact with the ...
NonCreature0714's user avatar
190 votes
14 answers
27k views

How can I tell people to get to the point?

I've recently come to a work place where people use a lot of useless business lingo and generally inflate communications with long unproductive fluff. I frequently find myself nodding and hoping they ...
MrFox's user avatar
  • 14.5k
186 votes
11 answers
43k views

How to deal with a coworker who blamed me for the bug that was his fault

I’m relatively new at a job, but have established myself as the “guy” when it comes to a certain web service we use. Our own website integrates with the service. I don’t really work on the site, just ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 1,431
182 votes
14 answers
43k views

How do I deal with an autistic employee who criticizes teammates publicly and doesn't understand the harm in doing so?

I have a very autistic person in my team who quite often criticizes his teammates in public emails, causing lots of complaints. We are in a Nordic country and it is not very common to fire people ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 2,773
182 votes
14 answers
40k views

Ways to respond when HR says your market salary range research isn't correct?

I'm negotiating a raise at my job (entry-level job; I've been at the company for 1+ years). For a lot of reasons (primarily my skill set, accomplishments, & performance), I believe that I'm ...
c36's user avatar
  • 6,430
177 votes
11 answers
49k views

How do we evaluate a candidate who would not speak to any women during the interview process?

In our small company with a few employees, everyone's input is important. We call each candidate in for two interviews, one with the owners and another with the Head Developer and a team member who ...
Trickylastname's user avatar
176 votes
16 answers
29k views

How can I dissuade a coworker who is disturbing my work from giving me help I don't feel I need?

When I am focused on a task that is assigned to me, my coworker will frequently shout out "Liz, come here." I go to his desk and find he has been working on my task and he explains to me how to solve ...
Liz at work's user avatar
  • 1,629
166 votes
16 answers
34k views

How to politely ask a coworker to “Google it”

I'm working in a team of 8 consultants just like me. I'm the youngest member of the team and also the one with the least experience (on resume at least). But 4 of the 8 members of the team will often ...
user avatar
165 votes
6 answers
27k views

How should I behave when I deleted data that shouldn't have been on my computer?

Today I received the company PC of a developer who had left the company. I came to realize that this PC had been poorly "cleaned" and some of his work remained there. I had no problem with that, ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 5,154
160 votes
11 answers
33k views

Having lunch at home

I live near my employer's office. All I need to do to reach home is walk for five minutes. To go straight to the point, I prefer having lunch at home. It costs me way less money than going to ...
Radhwen's user avatar
  • 1,700
155 votes
9 answers
42k views

Someone from HR discussed my salary and bonus with external mutual friend. What should I do?

I've been in a fairly new intimate relationship with someone for the past 2-3 months. I found out recently that she has a friend who works in my HR department. I found this out when she told me that ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,705
155 votes
10 answers
26k views

Should we tell a client about a possible scam pertaining to a document we weren't supposed to read? [closed]

Our IT product retail shop provides scan and send service. As employees, we are not allowed to read or discuss things they scan. There is one client that comes to use this service on a regular basis. ...
Markus's user avatar
  • 1,158
153 votes
10 answers
49k views

How to deal with an intern's lack of basic skills?

Due to some internal reorganization, now my team includes a new intern. Since I'm the technical and team lead, it's up to me to bring the new guy up to speed with how we work and what we need to do ...
T. Sar's user avatar
  • 9,187
151 votes
18 answers
25k views

Trouble understanding the speech of overseas colleagues

All of my development colleagues (software development company) are based overseas in India (I'm in the UK). I'm in a junior position and a lot of my development relies on being taught how to do ...
a.mac's user avatar
  • 901
149 votes
12 answers
38k views

Someone I manage keeps cc'ing my boss

I manage a team of about 20 at my company. One the people I manage will occasionally send emails to me to tell me things he thinks I should do differently. If I disagree with him, he'll reply and cc ...
StuckInTheMiddle's user avatar
143 votes
12 answers
22k views

How do I get my family to respect my home office?

I got my current job a few years ago when the company had a second office near my hometown. A few months later they closed that office and offered me the opportunity to work from home instead. I ...
sweet home's user avatar
  • 1,419
142 votes
12 answers
38k views

How to get rid of unwanted coworkers at lunch?

We are 5-6 coworkers (from different teams) that like to go out for lunch together. The problem: For some reason, there are people joining us without being invited. It just happens like this: It'...
zstefanova's user avatar
  • 1,967
140 votes
17 answers
34k views

How to deal with people who will not read?

I work in a field where you can get sudden requirements to communicate a lot of highly technical stuff from time to time. Sometimes this stuff is really involved. Like, you can chat with people about ...
Sentinel's user avatar
  • 2,463
139 votes
26 answers
24k views

How can I reply to coworkers who accuse me of automating people out of work?

I work in a small manufacturing company on special projects that automate some processes (primarily design/drafting). This automation is mainly targeted at reducing errors, establishing standards, ...
padleyj's user avatar
  • 661
134 votes
12 answers
57k views

What can I do about a very loud coworker?

Our office space is pretty tight and there are no cubicles. There is a guy sitting next to me and he is the loudest person I ever met. He is groaning, crackling, puffing, giving loud sighs and ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 1,451
133 votes
11 answers
26k views

How to objectively counter "You are the first one to complain about that."?

I've been facing this situation for some time where our office's management keep choosing the cheapest option whenever they have to pay for anything related to our work environment or company travels. ...
Long's user avatar
  • 6,830
133 votes
13 answers
35k views

What's the most polite way to tell a manager "shut up and let me work"?

I'm the youngest/most junior in my office and often one of my managers will come and give me something to do or change some requirement for a project, then just stand behind my desk repeating the same ...
y59175's user avatar
  • 703
133 votes
19 answers
20k views

How to prevent being used as a personal encyclopedia by coworkers?

I happen to be the technical expert in our company, in a relatively niche field we base our products on, so the knowledge I possess is not easily searchable on the open web. Besides development tasks, ...
Val's user avatar
  • 2,685
132 votes
8 answers
14k views

How to manage "slogan spammers" when taking strategic decisions with long term consequences

I work in a fast growing organisation. We have a few slogans that people spam around to justify decisions. Imagine we are having a strategic meeting, we are debating whether a solution is better than ...
user avatar
130 votes
10 answers
17k views

Do I need to be arrogant to get ahead? [closed]

A colleague of mine is very good at PR and branding himself and does this by communicating to the whole world his successes no matter how small they are. He does this in a very arrogant way, by making ...
bobo2000's user avatar
  • 12k
128 votes
11 answers
32k views

How to react to hostile behavior from a senior developer?

I started working at Dec 2018, currently, there is only me and the senior developer and we sit next to each other. He comes to work really early and leaves early. When I started working I noticed ...
Anon222's user avatar
  • 813
125 votes
13 answers
32k views

How do I ask a friendly coworker to remind me what their name is?

I have a coworker at my place of work that I am somewhat friendly with. Often times when I pass his desk, we'll both say hi and talk for a couple minutes about this or that. We're not exactly close ...
TheSoundDefense's user avatar
125 votes
5 answers
29k views

New colleague is a smoker; I can hardly breathe near him

To be explicit: this is my problem. I'm not "blaming" the new guy (actually he's rather nice). That said ... I'm allergic to smoke. When I was younger, I went "out on the town" only once or twice a ...
KlaymenDK's user avatar
  • 3,136
122 votes
12 answers
22k views

Just found I was supposed to be working on a completely different project since 8 months ago. How can I handle this?

Kinda shocked at the moment. I’m a dev who works on a team of about 20 developers. Apparently I (along with another developer) was assigned to complete a specification about 8 months ago. I learned ...
NoProject's user avatar
  • 397
121 votes
9 answers
19k views

How do I improve communication with a person whose grammar is so bad that I sometimes can't understand their emails?

As part of my job, I frequently exchange emails with a person (let's call him "Bob") who works for another company. I believe he's on the same level as me - not a manager - but because we ...
Amy Fiori's user avatar
  • 737
120 votes
12 answers
37k views

How can I discourage employees from working voluntary overtime?

I run a small company (5 salaried employees). We have recently expanded from 3 to 5 staff, and while we are comfortable financially, there is not much spare money available. However there is a lot of ...
Martin Hansen Lennox's user avatar
118 votes
15 answers
22k views

What should you do when eye contact makes your subordinate uncomfortable?

I am a newly promoted engineering supervisor, with a team of four engineers reporting to me. I have worked with them for several years before being promoted and we have a great, friendly dynamic. That ...
user35316's user avatar
  • 1,060
118 votes
8 answers
30k views

Did I overstep my boundaries by sharing my phone number and including my firm's name in e-mail signatures?

Today, out of the blue my supervisor came to me and asked me to talk in private. I noticed he had a sticky note on his hand, it was my new phone number I had written down and had pasted to the board ...
Tuan Nguyen's user avatar
118 votes
10 answers
27k views

A peer "gives" me tasks in public and makes it look like I work for him

Summary: I have a manager "Alan". "Bob" is not my manager but during meetings he often gives me tasks and talks about his participation in my work. I feel uncomfortable but my ...
iwantmyphd's user avatar
  • 1,695
116 votes
20 answers
32k views

Coworker is trying to get me to sign his petition to run for office. How to decline politely?

My coworker knows that I live in "his district" and he's been coming up to my desk for the past few days asking me to sign his petition to run for local office. Personally we don't share the same ...
Pelican's user avatar
  • 747
116 votes
13 answers
24k views

How to handle a colleague who appears helpful in front of manager but doesn't help in private?

TL;DR A colleague offers (unsolicited) help in front of manager, but actually doesn't help. What to do? The long version: I have recently started on a new job. There is another very senior person, ...
Htg07's user avatar
  • 861
115 votes
13 answers
25k views

I am a social person and am having issues handling the lack of social interaction from co-workers

I've been at my current job for a few months now, and the lack of conversation is starting to really bother me. Besides me, there are four other employees, and we all sit in the same open office area....
SilentOfficeSolitrayCoder's user avatar
114 votes
12 answers
26k views

What to say instead of "calm down" if you see the other person getting angry during the discussion?

Assumptions: Conversation is verbal. We will be talking face to face. In a heated argument, people can't be expected to stop talking automatically. They may continue to talk to prove their point. In ...
Aquarius_Girl's user avatar
114 votes
7 answers
29k views

How do you tell a friend they are not qualified when asked to recommend them for a job in your company?

An old colleague asked me to recommend him for a job in my company. I'm hesitant because when we worked at the same company, he didn't have the best reputation. He constantly missed deadlines, never ...
ExCoworkerDrama's user avatar
112 votes
10 answers
17k views

(Would be) teammate called me privately to tell me he does not wish to work with me

I've never faced anything of this sort before. I interviewed at this firm for a position, for which I was rejected, but after the interview the manager requested if he could hold on to my resume for ...
cromulon007's user avatar
110 votes
12 answers
25k views

Is it appropriate for a recruiter to tell me I need to be able to take calls during the day?

A recruiter contacted me about a possibility for a job in my field and suggested having a phone call to discuss the details. I said I was willing to have a phone call, and asked if 7pm was too late ...
Guest's user avatar
  • 791
109 votes
15 answers
21k views

How to stop co-workers from teasing me because I know Russian?

I work on a team of 8 people for a U.S financial company, and a few weeks ago, a business meeting with some clients overseas was taking place. My manager asked us in an e-mail if anyone can speak and ...
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