Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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).

343
votes
15answers
38k 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 ...
274
votes
12answers
45k 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 ...
230
votes
9answers
51k 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 ...
222
votes
12answers
28k 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 ...
202
votes
16answers
30k 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 ...
184
votes
19answers
38k 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 ...
181
votes
14answers
32k 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 ...
174
votes
10answers
36k 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 ...
171
votes
14answers
21k 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 ...
169
votes
16answers
25k 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 ...
165
votes
14answers
28k 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 ...
162
votes
14answers
32k 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 ...
161
votes
6answers
23k 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, ...
159
votes
11answers
28k 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 ...
158
votes
11answers
38k 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 ...
153
votes
23answers
48k 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 to remind ...
153
votes
9answers
37k 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 ...
153
votes
10answers
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. ...
143
votes
12answers
33k 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 ...
140
votes
10answers
36k 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 ...
139
votes
17answers
30k 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 ...
133
votes
12answers
17k 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 ...
127
votes
19answers
18k 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, ...
125
votes
16answers
17k 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 ...
125
votes
10answers
44k 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 ...
123
votes
11answers
27k 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 ...
121
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
117
votes
8answers
28k 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 ...
116
votes
11answers
21k 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. ...
115
votes
13answers
22k 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....
110
votes
12answers
22k 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 ...
109
votes
12answers
30k 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 ...
108
votes
12answers
22k 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 ...
108
votes
7answers
25k 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 ...
105
votes
15answers
29k views

My boss wants me to be available during my vacation abroad

Several months ago I put in my vacation for a week and a half. I'll be traveling to another country and will have almost no access to phone data. This is due to several reasons but the main ones are I ...
103
votes
10answers
18k views

Colleague shared pirated material. Is it appropriate for our manager to make me tell the colleague to remove it?

I have a colleague who recently joined our team. They're quite keen and want to help out a lot. They've sent out emails to the team with links to a network folder that contains copyrighted/pirated ...
102
votes
10answers
19k views

In a company crossing multiple timezones, is it rude to send a co-worker a work email in the middle of the night?

I work in a company that spans multiple timezones, and I work with people who are in wildly different timezones from me. For example, some of my coworkers are in the USA and work local hours, others ...
100
votes
16answers
14k views

Would it be inappropriate for me to push back on download privileges on my work PC?

I work at a small tech company as a software developer. Everyone in the office, including myself, has to ask our manager to come over (or VPN into our machines) to type in their password at least once ...
100
votes
12answers
20k views

How to ask boss for written authorization to violate a strict company policy?

My manager has asked me to violate a company policy that they disagree with. The policy is very strict and violating it normally is considered gross misconduct. The policy is for security and ...
100
votes
8answers
13k views

Should I apologize for being indifferent?

A few days ago I was called for a spontaneous one on one meeting with my highest tier boss. I had only spoken to him once during my time working there. I perceive him as a very friendly person. As he ...
97
votes
10answers
28k views

Should I let someone know I broke the electric kettle?

I needed hot milk, so I boiled it in the nearest electric kettle to me, but I think I broke it, as water won't boil any more. I know this, because I tried it myself. Should I tell someone in the ...
96
votes
9answers
37k views

How to respond to a ridiculous request from a senior colleague?

The wife of a friend of mine is a junior analyst and recent hire at her company. Recently a senior research scientist on the team asked her to make a Powerpoint slide to illustrate chances. The slide ...
94
votes
9answers
22k views

How to diplomatically reject someone's project due to their attitude

I came across a part time e-commerce project through a friend of mine. She said I would need to meet with her partner who is a decision maker and discuss things with him further. Everything seemed to ...
94
votes
9answers
21k views

What can I say to coworkers after taking a day off for mental health, if I don't wish to reveal the mental aspect of it?

I have a mental health condition that pretty much never surfaces on medication. Sometimes though, usually triggered by some sudden change in life or conflict in relationships, the effects can creep ...
94
votes
14answers
16k views

How do I deal with a subordinate that insists on providing too much detail?

I have a junior developer that has become a drain on my time. Several times a day, he either stops by my office, or grabs me as I pass by his (his office is centrally located, so that I'd have to ...
92
votes
19answers
26k views

Is it ethical to include opinion based code comments for future developers?

Scenario: You are a developer working alone for a company. You are due to leave the company in the near future and your successor will not be starting until after you leave, meaning no handover period ...
91
votes
13answers
25k views

Got into a (technical) argument with my interviewer - should I apologize?

I had a technical phone interview today where the interviewer and I had a disagreement on a (small, very unimportant) technical detail in my code where he was suggesting one thing and I disagreed and ...
91
votes
11answers
18k views

As a remote employee, how do I get coworkers to give me information I need to do my job?

I am a technical writer who works in the office 1 day per week. The job I have does not require a lot of teamwork because I am the sole writer, but I do need to get information from developers. The ...
90
votes
12answers
24k views

New supposedly experienced software developer disrupting my existing work in volunteer organisation

Update: this situation is solved Read how it all ended at the bottom of the post. Background I am a graduating Software Engineering student, working as a backend application developer. About a ...
90
votes
5answers
20k views

One of my subordinates' child passed away, how can I inform my team?

One of the people who reports to me lost their son in an accident over the weekend. She has a lot of colleagues that rely on her on a daily basis. She is somewhat of a project owner on a project ...