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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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
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6answers
23k 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
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6answers
19k 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
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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
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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
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 ...
49
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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
6answers
15k views

Accidentally defaced an internal production website during vulnerability scanning - How do I protect myself

I work in the information security department at my employer. Today while using automated tool of Burp Suite on one of our internal web applications in production to search for vulnerabilities, I ...
49
votes
7answers
11k 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
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5answers
13k 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
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7answers
15k views

Client wants me to interact with their end-customer, but through client's company email

I develop software and sell licenses to a client in a relationship that is technically non-exclusive but so far has been exclusive in practice i.e. they are an important client to me. My client (let's ...
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 ...
46
votes
6answers
25k views

Might have gotten a coworker sick, should I address this?

This is in the US. Last Wednesday, I woke up feeling under the weather, but it appeared to just be allergies. Regardless, I still took precautions to avoid spreading anything (washing hands, excusing ...
46
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8answers
16k views

Can I prevent my company from modifying source code that I wrote for myself and gave them to use? [closed]

I'm a programmer. I love my job, I love it so much that I continue spending time programming when I'm at home in out-of-office hours like in the evening or at the weekend. The language that I program ...
46
votes
5answers
11k views

Assigned a job I cannot do

I am a recent graduate who moved across the country to get his dream job in game programming. I worked at a indie company for a year and then was hired by one of the largest companies. This is a dream ...
45
votes
11answers
25k views

I don't want to congratulate a colleague for a poorly done final year project

One of my colleagues told everyone at work that her final year project, an Android mobile app, has been approved. I don't think highly of this project as it is a copy of another app already published ...
45
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13answers
14k views

How can I deal with a manager who keeps insisting to stay with no clear offer after I have already accepted another company offer?

Summary I was dissatisfied with my job and accepted an offer elsewhere. Now my boss keeps insisting I stay, and enlists others to try and convince me. How do I deal professionally with this? Context A ...
45
votes
6answers
39k views

Boss sends a birthday message. How to reply?

I just received an SMS from my boss which says "Happy Birthday, enjoy your day! John." If it was a close friend, I would have most likely replied with "thanks John, I will :)", but since this is my ...
45
votes
6answers
12k views

Not been paid even after reminding the Treasurer; what should I do?

I am an independent contractor for a non-profit. I usually send my invoice to the president who ensures she pays me within a week of sending the invoice. This responsibility was moved to the Treasurer ...
45
votes
8answers
13k views

How to deal with a customer who “incorrects” my English?

As a professional service provider, our company provides a customized IT enterprise solution to a customer. One of our deliverables is a design document, which describes the components at a high level....
44
votes
9answers
13k views

How do I show concern to my manager, who is coming back from an emergency leave? Want to ask him if everything was good back at home

Last week my manager suddenly departed for his home country due to a family emergency. Tomorrow he is supposed to resume work and our first interaction is a regular scrum call with everyone in the ...
44
votes
9answers
10k views

Is there discrimination hidden behind the phrase good written and verbal communication

Sometimes I search for web developer jobs and one of the skills is "good written and verbal communication". Anytime I see it it looks like a red flag meaning that they don't want foreigners, ...
44
votes
6answers
282k views

How to tell sender they forgot the attachment without embarrassing them?

So I got an email from someone reading "blah blah, X is attached". However the email has no attachments. Obviously they just forgot to attach X before hitting the send button. How should I hint ...
44
votes
5answers
8k views

How do I decline a simple task from a customer? [closed]

Through Zendesk (our support channel), a customer is telling me that something is wrong with our software. Our software is running on a server at the customer’s location and not on an individual's ...
44
votes
9answers
6k views

My boss started sending me IMs to my private account. How should I deal with this?

I few days ago my boss started to send me instant messages to my private phone on my private account. He sends me error-messages and screenshots from customers. I fully understand this may be his ...
44
votes
9answers
75k views

How to handle false allegations of my behavior and continue performing my job

My question comes from this personal situation: I have to communicate with a third party logistics company on a daily basis. After a routine communication with this company, I was called into a ...
43
votes
7answers
23k views

I received a dinner invitation through my employer's email. Is it OK to attend?

Last week, I received a dinner invitation from an organizer that I never worked with nor heard of. I received the invitation through my employer's email. The location of the event is a well known ...
43
votes
5answers
10k views

Overcoming language barrier with co-worker without making a fuss about it?

I have a co-worker who has trouble with English so more often than not what he says is not what exactly he means. This happens in business talks as well leading to work going the wrong direction and ...
43
votes
6answers
10k views

How to deal with a developer who thinks all technical questions should be answered by him only?

I work as a UX Program manager in a large creative team where we take on a number of projects. The team by itself is pretty amazing and I get along with everyone and enjoy learning with everyone. ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there a simple, non-offensive way to flag “bike-shedding”?

Is there any neat clean familiar way to get across the idea of "bike-shedding"? "Bikeshedding" is when legitimate agenda items or elements of a project which people enjoy or find easy to discuss ...
42
votes
12answers
15k views

How should I handle multiple mistakes without losing credibility?

In short: I've made multiple mistakes in a calculation software within a year. These mistakes caused no harm whatsoever, but I'm afraid that I will lose credibility if I approach this the wrong way. I ...
42
votes
5answers
11k views

How to deal with stand-up meetings in the open space that have no privacy?

I am in a software development project and we have daily stand-up meetings, which are held in the open space next to other peoples' desks. I would prefer to have more privacy during the meeting, ...
42
votes
3answers
34k views

What's the most professional and constructive response to false accusations?

My boss says that I have done something wrong but I didn't and I have no doubt about it. Regardless of context, what's the most professional response or behavior to adapt when one is falsely accused ...
41
votes
6answers
12k views

What to do when you've put your co-worker on spot by being impatient?

I was impatient (yes one of those 'busy' days). A co-worker only went on a simple 30 minute errand and did not return for hours. I sent a message to our group chat asking if he was still running the ...
41
votes
14answers
14k views

How can I stop people confusing my given name and surname?

My given name and my surname are both well-known given names. Hence, many people use my surname as my first name mistakenly. This occurs especially in mail conversations when I cannot introduce myself ...
41
votes
11answers
18k views

Did I lie on my resume by not mentioning I didn't complete my degree?

On my resume I list my education under a section called "education". I do not mention the word "qualification" and I do not mention my grades. I list them in the following format: Course - ...
41
votes
7answers
14k views

How to behave with women in my company when it's International Women's Day?

Today I woke up and remembered that today is International Women's Day. I am not exactly the person who likes to greet and give wishes to everyone, and I am often kinda embarrassed when I have to do ...
41
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I tell a coworker not to keep asking me to pass on illness/absence messages to our manager?

Maybe I'm being petty, but my friend and co-worker has, on a few occasions now, asked me to tell our manager that e.g. he's not working today or that he'll be working from home because he's sick or ...
41
votes
10answers
5k views

How to take ownership to solve an issue when managers focus on pinpointing person to blame and punish?

When any kind of failure happens at my company, the first question everyone in the hierarchy asks is "Whose fault was it?" I remember once overhearing a conversation where someone replied "It's no one'...
41
votes
9answers
11k views

Co-workers not communicating in common language [duplicate]

I accepted my first job in a country other than my own being assured that English is enough for office communication. Although all my co-workers are proficient in English, they choose to speak their ...
41
votes
6answers
11k views

How can I tell management I'm bored with my current projects?

I'd like to ask how should I handle the following issue. I've been working at a company for about 10 months so far. I was initially hired as a mid-level c# web developer. All the questions during the ...
41
votes
4answers
10k views

How to deal with coworker's health issues that affect my work?

I have a coworker with B12 vitamin deficiency. They take shots every 12 weeks, but become really cranky from week 8 onward, and are very difficult to work with or even talk with. Unfortunately, ...
41
votes
3answers
9k views

Problems with loud, bossy colleague

I just graduated from college and started in this new company 6 months ago. I have a problem with a colleague at work. He is not well liked by other colleagues in the office. He's loud, bossy and ...
40
votes
8answers
17k views

How to get a peer to stop giving me orders

A colleague often instructs me to do work for them. While the instruction is precise, I feel it is not at all my responsibility. For example, he has asked me to print a document that is hundreds of ...
40
votes
5answers
16k views

How do I tell my boss I quit?

I know it sounds simple, but I'm finding it quite awkward to tell my boss I am leaving for another job. The main reasons for this are: My boss is currently looking for more developers due to heavy ...
40
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I get noticed at work? [duplicate]

I work as a junior SQL developer in a small software company. In my project, my team leader assigns me tasks on a daily basis and I usually finish my coding tasks on time. At the end of day, I send a ...
39
votes
13answers
8k views

How to keep my phone number private, when I have to provide a way for students to contact me?

I am an instructor of classes that only run for 1-4 weeks. The facility I teach at requires me include my cell phone number on the class schedule that I give out. However, during and after the last ...
39
votes
6answers
13k views

How to tell a coworker something they did is not okay?

This is no longer an issue but for future reference what is the best way to tell something a coworker did is not okay without making them feel intimidated? For context, we were working on a project ...

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