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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72
votes
12answers
13k views

How to handle anonymous feedback from unknown colleague via manager

I received feedback from my manager that a colleague found a code review comment of mine hurtful. He kept the name confidential. It's important to me that code review remain a positive and ...
72
votes
4answers
16k views

Boss hiring new employee for responsibilities promised to me. How can I deal with this?

Recently my boss told me privately a new coworker would be joining us shorty. In this talk, he revealed to me that the tasks this new coworker would perform would be traveling abroad to meet clients ...
71
votes
16answers
27k views

Is my workplace warning for texting my boss's private phone at night justified?

I am a computer programmer for a county in Texas. One Saturday night, while at home, I had an idea about a deployment problem and I texted my Boss several times also about issues and attitudes about ...
71
votes
16answers
102k views

How to proceed when remote boss doesn't answer emails?

My boss and I sit in different remote sites, several thousands of miles apart. We don't see each other often. On several occasions in the last few months, I have sent him emails asking him for ...
71
votes
6answers
23k views

How to professionally tell my boss to not contact me during my holidays?

I'm currently on holidays, and I'm a software developer. For the first time in my 10+ years of work, my boss tried to reach me during my holidays, on my private phone (while I have a company phone ...
70
votes
8answers
21k views

Manager is upset because I asked HR to clarify a company policy after he had explained it to me

I am a new hire and recently had my first 3-month review. I got an overall satisfactory rating, but was criticized for being away from my desk too much. According to my manager, my lunchtime (rarely ...
70
votes
11answers
17k views

How to talk to others when they're busy?

Whenever I need to talk to one of my coworkers or my manager, I often have trouble initiating conversation because they look busy and I don't want to interrupt. I work in a software environment where ...
69
votes
3answers
13k views

How to convey I'm innocent when client thinks I'm responsible for missing data?

I have a remote client that I'm contracted for adding new features to their training website. Half way through the project, my client notified me that some data was missing for a two month period (I ...
69
votes
6answers
19k views

How should I approach a co-worker on matters of personal hygiene?

It's a rather delicate issue that I had to deal with once or twice in the past, and can't really say I handled it effectively. I'm a bit crude, and socially awkward and would pretty much prefer to ...
68
votes
12answers
26k views

What to do about a colleague playing pranks on a manager?

I have the following situation at work. A colleague I work with sometimes plays pranks on a young manager. They've known each other for 3-4 years and the manager has the habit of forgetting to lock ...
68
votes
16answers
22k views

Colleagues speaking another language and it impacts work

I am aware of the following questions, but feel like they don't apply completely here because of the meeting issue (point 2 below): Everyone at work except me speaks another language How to deal ...
68
votes
7answers
11k views

How can I help my direct report to understand he is not being micromanaged?

A couple of weeks ago one of my direct reports (we'll call him Brent) went to my boss to complain that I am micromanaging him. When I heard the accusation, I was flabbergasted, since I don't see ...
68
votes
8answers
14k views

How to deal with unwillingness or indifference when asking for help with implementing an API in a foreign language I don't understand?

Preface: I'm still a rather inexperienced junior software developer working at a start-up company for about 2 months gathering my first experiences of "the real world". I am currently dealing with a ...
68
votes
8answers
53k views

How to deal with an employee who ignores you

I am having an issue with an employee/former co-worker who is flat out ignoring me. I work in a department in a college and for many years I worked as a student assistant. When I graduated I became a ...
66
votes
7answers
8k views

How to politely communicate that I really can learn well only if I do it myself?

I'm a junior developer. My tech lead is a very smart person. When I go to him to seek for help on a problem, he usually finds a solution very quickly (he designed the whole system). The problem is ...
66
votes
12answers
11k views

My colleagues feel that I go into discussions too aggressively - how do I fix this?

One of the main feedback points I got from my performance review was that my colleagues complained/commented that they feel that I go into discussions too aggressively, that I try to push through on ...
64
votes
8answers
16k views

I canceled my internship last-minute. Can I expect bridges to be burnt?

I had been talking to company A about doing an internship there. I had several concerns regarding the assignment but I needed it fast, so I applied anyway and got accepted. I agreed to start the ...
64
votes
6answers
12k views

Is it professional to use personal contacts in other companies to solve problems at work?

I work in IT, and like typical IT folks, have a lot of friends in IT. Is it professional to use these connections to help my employer? For example, a client in my company needs to contact another ...
64
votes
6answers
22k views

Pressure to go back to work after heavy surgery

Recently, I underwent under heavy surgery. My doctor said my recovery would take a few weeks. My last week was supposed to be this previous week, but my surgeon gave me an extra week (this week) of ...
64
votes
8answers
21k views

How to win over jealous subordinate who is mocking me after my promotion?

I was promoted to manage my team a couple of months ago. While it was a stressful learning experience in itself, I enjoyed it and most of my team accepted me and appreciated my leadership - except for ...
63
votes
7answers
13k views

Confront the manager in a constructive safe manner about lack of work

I was hired 3 months ago as a web developer at a company to work on a project and 2 months ago that project was killed. Ever since then I'm given all sorts of tasks, like testing and cleaning ...
63
votes
4answers
14k views

Didn't get enough time to take a coding test - what should I do now?

I got an interview call from a company after a friend referred me for a vacancy in his team. The call was from a team manager and not any HR personnel. One interview for this week, Monday, was ...
63
votes
8answers
9k views

How can I get out of a bad job assignment without quitting?

I'm a software developer. Recently, my boss has told me my upcoming project assignment will be doing manual quality assurance on a web site some colleagues are building. I feel that spending 6 months ...
63
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I find common ground with a coworker who thinks very differently from myself?

I design electrical circuits for a living. Over the past few years, I've established a logical design method which works for me and helps me to keep track of how everything is connected together. ...
62
votes
9answers
19k views

If a professional acquaintance asks you to forward their resume on to a hiring manager, how do you politely turn them down?

So a professional acquaintance that I've chatted with briefly only once or twice in the past few years asked me to forward her resume on to a hiring manager at my company. Though we are connected on ...
62
votes
7answers
9k views

How to make sure I'm assertive enough in contact with subordinates?

I'm a first-time manager and sometimes have difficulties judging whether my expectations towards my subordinates are realistic or not. How assertive/ cooperative should I be in the following ...
62
votes
4answers
11k views

How can I ask my manager if he is upset at me

I work as an software engineering intern in my free time and summers at a small startup. Management has consistently asked me to continue, giving me several raises. However, for some time my direct ...
61
votes
11answers
17k views

I emailed my customer asking multiple questions. Their reply addressed only one. What is the polite way to point this out?

I asked the customer three questions, and they only answered one, as if the others didn't exist. I need answers to all those questions. Frankly, I find it a little rude that they didn't read my email ...
61
votes
6answers
12k views

Communicating effectively with a former director who is now a member of my team

I started my software engineer career six years back in a company. I always used prefix "Sir" when communicating with the director of that company (both emails and verbally). After two years I ...
61
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there an etiquette for who goes in “CC” and who goes in “To” for emails?

I've noticed some of my colleagues seem to deliberately split up email recipients — some are in the "To" field and some are in the "CC" field. Is this a social cue whereby those CC'd aren't ...
61
votes
12answers
10k views

How to deal with less productive days? [closed]

Yesterday I had one of those days you get once in a while. You are less productive it is hard to focus on work related subjects or just any subjects at all and you cannot wait the day to be over. The ...
60
votes
7answers
13k views

How to deal with IT help desk that does not acknowledge requests for help?

Whenever myself or my colleagues contact the IT help desk, there are a series of systemic problems, namely: Not acknowledging receipt of the request Taking no corrective action and unilaterally ...
60
votes
5answers
16k views

How to deal with a colleague who is being aggressive?

I’ve found that a relatively new addition to our team is being needlessly aggressive and I’m not sure if I should speak to them or our mutual manager about this face to face, or try some other ...
60
votes
10answers
14k views

How to deal with a senior coworker with potentially bad work habits?

As some background, I am the Team Lead. There is a Senior Developer in my team who does not push his code at all. He commits to the master branch directly and puts code into a production branch ...
59
votes
10answers
23k views

How do I tell a colleague that I don't want to add him to Facebook?

I consider Facebook to have information that is personal and that I only share with close friends and family. However, in my new workplace I’ve been asked several times for my Facebook username and/or ...
59
votes
9answers
26k views

Interview rescheduled by employer two hours before the meeting

I'm currently working as a software developer and applied for a better position in a big company a week ago. This Monday I received an email asking for an interview today. I was really enthusiastic ...
59
votes
8answers
14k views

Should I inform my employer of plans to get more visible tattoos?

A bit of background: I have one visible tattoo, directly on my hand. Since I've started my job 7 months ago fresh out of college, it hasn't been mentioned once. Now, there are a lot of other tattoos ...
59
votes
13answers
12k views

How to shoo away people who make informal requests at the desk or canteen? [duplicate]

My role involves working with teams across the company, but there is a strong tendency for people to come and chat us up informally in order to get their things done, put pressure and even "blackmail" ...
58
votes
12answers
15k views

How can I train a replacement without letting my bosses and the replacement know?

I am networking to change jobs. I want to train a replacement at my current job. I have identified the person. I need to have more one-on-one time with that coworker, but it is challenging to arrange. ...
58
votes
12answers
20k views

Is it unprofessional to bring your spouse/kids to work to visit? [closed]

When I was younger in my career (20's), and worked at smaller companies, I often brought my spouse and kids into work. I had good relationships with my co-workers, and even saw some of them outside of ...
58
votes
10answers
13k views

How do you respond to a colleague from another team when they're wrongly expecting that you'll help them?

Here's the situation. There is a person on Team X. They share some hardware that I also work on. They're trying to create a setup for something and struggling big time with it. It's none of my ...
57
votes
5answers
15k views

How do I ask a co-worker to turn down the volume on their laptop, when I don't know which co-worker to blame?

I work in an open office with about 10-12 workers, all in partitioned cubicles. Most of us have the sound turned off on our laptops out of respect for the rest of the team. However, one (or maybe ...
57
votes
12answers
15k views

Keep getting called on my personal phone

Being the IT/DBA/Networks/Programmer of our company, I'm used to have the office phone ringing every 5 min if not more. I can manage it, although a bit frustrating when I'm trying to program or go ...
57
votes
11answers
26k views

What to do when a new employee makes basic spelling and grammar mistakes?

The company my other half works for has recently employed a new admin assistant, but she is constantly making basic spelling and grammar mistakes. A few examples would be which/witch, your/you're, ...
56
votes
13answers
21k views

Senior employee of my team understood my email as an order and didn't like it

I'm leading the Agile team with a flat structure and we recently got a new team member. He is 10 years older than me and more experienced in some things (emotional intelligence) and he is local in a ...
56
votes
10answers
14k views

Should I disclose a colleague's illness (that I should not know about) when others badmouth him

Recently I found myself in a situation where I just had no idea what the best course of action could be. I went back to my old workplace to get some paperwork done. While I was waiting for the person ...
56
votes
7answers
19k views

How to provide feedback about an unprofessional manager during the exit interview? [duplicate]

Two of my colleagues working within another department are leaving the company and they will have an exit interview. They have informally shared with me and other colleagues that one of the reasons ...
56
votes
5answers
18k views

How to deal with colleague who uses unintelligible colloquial/slang terms?

A colleague consistently uses slang terms and I find it hard to understand them. At first, it was somewhat amusing within the office and I think they play up to it now. But it's got to the point ...
56
votes
10answers
16k views

Convincing my boss to respect meeting times

Backstory: I just moved from a very large MNC to a small company for primarily personal reasons. This is my 3rd job since graduating 5 years ago. I started at a small (~30 person) company a little ...
56
votes
12answers
14k views

Theft from communal kitchen causing issues across teams [duplicate]

I have reviewed how can we prevent theft of food from shared fridges by coworkers and whilst similar I think the differences warrant me posting this as a separate question. Me and my team (12 in ...