Davidson is a certified professional trainer, business coach and management consultant.
Driven by passion, he is an engaging and versatile presenter with over 20 years of experience in the training industry. Over the course of his career, he has trained over 1,000 companies comprising start-ups, SMEs, MNCs, government agencies and others all over Southeast Asia.
Here is your change to ask him a Question or read some of the advice given to others.
How To Survive Working With A Talkative Co-Worker
I want you to know how much I love your new column! I would love your opinion on this. I have a really talkative colleague. We aren’t exactly close friends but we are required to work closely with each other. How can I politely tell her to keep it down? Or should I just ‘tolerate’ working with her?
– Mr Quiet
Dear Mr Quiet,
Thank you! If a situation arises at one workplace, more often than not, it is seen within other workplaces.
In this specific case, I have two pieces of advice to give, where it’s entirely up to you which one you implement.
Your choice should be dependent upon how long all this has been going on, and how patient you are.
Whether you are working in a creative environment, or undertaking a task that needs discipline, it’s hard to achieve great results fast if you are distracted by anything not work-related.
Like in your situation, when you are being distracted by your talkative colleague.
Firstly, I believe the person in question needs to know what you think about this kind of workflow, and they need to be aware how you feel about it.
By being quiet you are in fact being passive.
Simply, this means that you are allowing someone to ‘step’ on you.
If not addressed, this passive behaviour, along with stored anger will more than likely lead to you developing passive-aggressive tendencies.
This in turn will lead you to ‘step’ on someone else.
So, the way to deal with this issue is by being assertive. It has to be done: you should take action and approach your colleague with this problem directly.
Find somewhere that is middle-ground (where you and your colleague are both ‘protected’) and bring up your point.
Secondly, in order to understand WHY your colleague acts the way he/she does, you may need to first consider the type of Colored Brain they are, as well as addressing what their Emotional Drivers may be.
By doing this not only will you perhaps increase your own Circle of Tolerance, but it will enable you to understand exactly what it is that drives your colleague to act out like this.
For example, by discovering their Emotional Drivers, the insight revealed from that may tell you they are lacking in ‘Recognition’.
Therefore, by addressing the source, you are immediately able to find the instigator of the behaviour.
This not only grants you a better understanding of others, but also gives you the opportunity to be empathetic, approachable, and most importantly, liked.
After reading both pieces of advice, I would personally recommend you use the given knowledge, yet still be assertive.
Learn more about your colleague and then apply it in a friendly conversation somewhere either out of the workplace, or outside of work hours.
Let’s say at a coffee shop during your lunch break.
Have a sincere conversation with your colleague whilst asking direct questions and telling them what you think.
A neutral place and your calm tone won’t let your colleague see you as their enemy.
Besides, you are the one who invited them for a coffee and talk.
Perhaps top it off by paying for it ?