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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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 ...
58
votes
12answers
16k 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 ...
58
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" ...
57
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
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
11answers
28k 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, ...
57
votes
6answers
223k views

What is appropriate email follow-up etiquette after no response?

Sometimes I send emails and need a response. While not quite as bad as not being able to find denvercoder9, it sometimes happens I get no response. This presents a problem if the request is something ...
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
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 ...
56
votes
14answers
15k views

Subjects to discuss while on break with older colleagues

Related to my other question, sometimes, being the youngest employee in a multinational environment might be a headache. Or an advantage. Yesterday it's been one of the embarrassed moments I've been ...
56
votes
7answers
10k views

How do I approach my boss about licensing concerns he has already dismissed once

I work at a large, international company, with my office situated in northwestern Europe, and my manager has recently asked me to create a safety poster for use at my workplace. He also included some ...
55
votes
7answers
14k views

Should I ask for commission after saving the company a lot of money?

I recently found a replacement part for our product that is cheaper and better. I've negotiated a good deal to get this price from the distributor and I've also received a formal quote. It will save ...
55
votes
7answers
9k views

How do I ask for help with a problem that has gotten over my head?

I'm well and truly in need of some help. For weeks now, I've been working on developing a new page for our application - I've been making good progress for a long time now, adding in parts and ...
55
votes
9answers
7k views

Are there humorous, less-confrontational ways to negotiate a starting salary?

I really am the type of person who doesn't feel comfortable demanding higher pay. I feel perhaps that others are like me, that they are simply more lenient or compliant. So sometimes you want to push ...
55
votes
6answers
27k views

How can I stop a flirting co-worker without damaging our professional relationship?

There is a co-worker that is being way overly friendly with me. Nothing that would really be deemed unprofessional, and I am not offended in any way, but it is just that little notch beyond what a ...
54
votes
10answers
16k views

How do I tell my supervisor that he is choosing poor replacements for me while I am on maternity leave?

About at month after telling my supervisor that I was pregnant, I presented him with a list of recommendations for people in my office whom I thought could cover my various roles while I am on ...
54
votes
5answers
14k views

How should I respond to a (positive) email about my career path that I don't think was supposed to come to me?

Late yesterday I recieved an email, it basically went like this From : My Boss's boss's Boss To: HR Director CC: Jim, Joe, Bob, Sidney HR Directory, The following is my ...
54
votes
9answers
9k views

How can you fix someone else's work without seeming pretentious, mean, or arrogant?

I joined up at a place a few months ago as a web developer. They hired me thinking I was "green" to the industry, placing me as a junior developer, and giving me menial tasks at first. I've since ...
53
votes
10answers
20k views

Non-technical project manager, how to repair poor relationship with subordinates?

I am a project manager for a design firm. When I initially started, I was to do an assessment of the company. However, the project manager at the time and one of the senior executives did not want me ...
53
votes
11answers
21k views

How to mention that teammate accomplished nothing in team lead's absence [duplicate]

My team lead went on vacation for 2 weeks, mid-sprint. So my team, 3-ish developers, had a fair amount of work to finish the sprint off. Then we were told to work on the backlog and bugs in his ...
53
votes
8answers
11k views

How do I deal with workplace questions regarding personal interests when my main interest may be considered immature?

Shortly after starting my new job as a development engineer at a larger company, I was asked to submit some personal information for a slideshow showing recent developments at the workplace (the ...
52
votes
6answers
12k views

How to deal with a client who has little idea what his employees are doing? [closed]

I am a freelancer providing service to a small company. Let's call the boss John. Alice and Bob are two of his employees. I am not a part of John's company nor management team, I am simply an external ...
52
votes
7answers
15k views

How to handle support obligation to end-client of WordPress developer friend?

A friend of mine (let's call him Brian) is a Wordpress developer/designer who wanted to reduce his hosting costs, so I set up a reseller account with a large hosting provider and now provide him with ...
52
votes
4answers
9k views

Customer of my employer wants DOB, last 4 digits of SSN, state of residence, and full name. OK?

One of my employer's customers wants everyone's DOB, last 4 digits of my Social Security number, state of residence and full name. I am not comfortable with this. They explained it is to keep track ...
52
votes
4answers
17k views

Former employer did not send me the W-2 and is ignoring my emails. What to do?

I live in the US and I left previous employer on bad terms. It was a small startup company (~4 employees, a manager and a CEO). For those not familiar with the W-2 form, it is the total income ...
51
votes
9answers
11k views

How can I avoid the risk of mistakenly deleting data from a production environment with no backups? [closed]

I am a junior developer who is still not confident in my role. I am dealing with very sensitive, unrecoverable data in our production environment. A lot of my workload involves different tasks in our ...
51
votes
6answers
14k views

How to go around a colleague who keeps inviting me for religious activities?

I have a (very nice and professional) colleague who is from the same religion as me, we are the only two from our religion in the department and that maybe explains why he would enjoy me being his ...
51
votes
8answers
14k views

Where is the line between being obedient and getting bullied by a boss?

As an employee it is obvious part of the contract that I do the job assigned to me by my boss, and in those terms he has control to a high degree over what I do, when I do it etc. While it's ...
51
votes
6answers
9k views

LinkedIn invitations from people I don't know

I frequently get invitations on LinkedIn from people whom I don't know. We often have several shared connections, but don't know each other personally. I am more inclined to ignore invitations from ...
51
votes
7answers
10k views

What can I do if I have a colleague who is picking on me?

I have a colleague who is making unrelated non-professional remarks (for example she criticized the socks I was wearing last time). It looks like that she is frustrated and this is her strategy to ...
50
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the right way to think about doing lower value work when small talking with an executive?

I work as an IT helpdesk contractor in a large corporation. We basically have to help users with resetting their passwords, switching out broken stuff, so nothing fancy. Sometimes I get into ...
50
votes
3answers
16k views

How to ask my manager if I am about to be fired?

I have a feeling management is working to fire me. My manager says I've been "doing fine" but I don't believe him. How should I ask my manager if they are truly working to fire me? Let me explain ...
50
votes
13answers
11k views

Is it condescending to answer a question with a question? [duplicate]

I started a new job and it's in a fast paced environment where the company keeps track of the speed you're doing work. There are several people who's job it is to help out new people when they get ...
50
votes
12answers
13k views

I'm not Junior/Entry-Level, but Senior Dev treats me like one

I'm currently a 24 yr old contract-to-hire developer at this company. I'm five months in to a six month contract. My job title is "Developer." No prefix. I'm between Junior/Entry-Level and Senior. I'm ...
50
votes
3answers
6k views

How to deal being alone in my department?

Being the sole software developer in a start-up and also being a junior (no prior experience either) I'm in a position that is hard for me to do anything project related. After discussing with my ...
49
votes
6answers
22k views

How to politely tell someone they did not hit “reply to all” in an email?

It happens sometimes that somebody (likely) meant to reply all in an email chain, but (likely) accidentally just replied to the last person that sent the email. What is a polite way to inform them of ...
49
votes
6answers
18k views

How to ask a male boss for a sanitary bin in the women's bathroom?

I've recently started working in a small business (10-15 employees), and noticed that the women's bathroom lacks a sanitary bin. Since the team is mostly male, and the only two other female employees ...
49
votes
11answers
13k views

How to take vacation days within first year without looking like a slacker

So I just got a new job that I really like A LOT, and the vacation policy is quite generous (15 accrued days and 7 floating days). I plan on taking them all next year due to planned outings and music ...
49
votes
7answers
11k views

Why is it a bad idea to undersell certain skills in an interview?

I recently graduated university (UK), and in my final year I had several interviews for jobs as a programmer. One of these interviews consisted of two parts; a standard question-and-answer section ...
49
votes
5answers
11k views

I saw a colleague - my ex tutor - spying on my conversation with CEO about salary [closed]

A few weeks ago I got a good news from the CEO of the company where I did an internship. He told me that he wanted to hire me. A few days later I was called by him to talk about the contract details ...
49
votes
7answers
18k views

How to talk to client who refuses to pay for freelance work

I worked on a project which was advertised by a UK company as an internship after applying online. When I started this project, I quickly requested for a contract but I was given excuses as to why it ...
49
votes
12answers
15k views

Coworkers constantly make fun of my buying habits

I work in a small startup of 10 people in a house converted to an office that's spread across 3 floors. I am friendly with all coworkers including people from another startup that's sharing the space. ...
49
votes
7answers
10k views

Breaking the accent barrier in a telephone interview

Recently I attended a phone interview. The interviewer had a very thick (Asian) accent and I could barely understand the questions he was asking. It was a technical round and trying to go by my ear, ...
48
votes
8answers
10k views

How to avoid that customers come to local shop to get advice and then buy online? [closed]

If one runs a local shop, some potential customers come in order to get advice or a product recommendation but then buy the respective product online where it typically is cheaper. How can potential ...
47
votes
5answers
12k views

Responding to trivial and constant affirmation in a telephonic conference

My team and I (supervisor) have to attend a telephonic conference once in a week with another team located in a different country. The agenda is usually sharing updates of each other's work and trying ...
47
votes
6answers
9k views

Manager sounds upset every time I inform him of a (minor) obstacle

My manager seems irritated when he asks for an update and I inform him of a barrier I’m working on. For example I was working on implementing a subprocess call, and when tried it on the program to be ...
47
votes
10answers
12k views

Is being blunt in emails common in the workplace?

I'm still a student, but was talking to a friend about how when I email my professors/lecturers they tend to ignore the niceties, the greeting, everything except the main question in my email and send ...