Hello, all. I am at a loss and need some help. I have an employee who will not stop randomly (and loudly) talking during work. We have a very small office with a staff of 6, all in the same room. This employee bursts out with random stories or questions, and then continues the conversation for a while with whoever has been kind enough to answer her. I have met with her twice in my office regarding this issue, however she is easily offended stating she doesn't understand why everyone else can talk but she can't. She doesn't understand the context in which I am trying to describe her disruptive behavior. She honestly cannot decipher the difference between casual conversation that is appropriate, and disruptive loud comments that are distracting. The other employees are frustrated, as am I. Please help me know how to handle this situation with care. She is valued employee, just has no social intelligence.

timrutter's picture

To quote Mark, communication is what the listener does.

If she's not understanding the feedback Megan, I would suggest modifying the it. Work out her DISC profile and try to modify the language to what makes sense to her.

If you're at a loss as to what it could be, we can always help you out through this thread. Post what you think the feedback should be and we'll have a crack at helping you tune it up



katehorstman's picture
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I am sorry to hear that you are having this issue. Tim is right- her DISC assessment might help. I'd wager a guess that she is high I or high D. The assertiveness of talking over a group would suggest this. As well, if the topic not often work, my first guess would be high I. You might use some language in your feedback that a high I might find especially effective. "When you talk loudly enough for everyone to hear, here’s what happens: the group doesn’t like you as much." Or "When you talk about things that are not about work for the whole group to hear, here's what happens: the team thinks less highly of you." High I's value the opinion of others, and want to be seen in a good light by those around them. If you can couch your feedback based on this idea, it might be more effective.  High Is often spend as much time talking about non-task matters as they do about their tasks, so you’re experiencing something totally normal. They are also more likely to brush off negative feedback in general, since it doesn’t fit with their idea of themselves. She probably values interpersonal skills over work, therefore its best to give feedback based on that. Said another way- feedback to this direct is more likely to be effective when it is expresses consequences in terms of things she cares about.


I hope this helps,