The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 4, 2014

Career Coach: How to handle co-workers' habits that annoy you

The Career Coach, Joyce E.A. Russell, recently fielded questions from readers.


A: It is great you talked to your boss about this, and it seems that did have an impact. Did you ever talk to your cubemate about this? Just let her know that people around her can hear all her conversations and know a lot of personal information about her life? Maybe she will not care if they know, or maybe she will be surprised and distressed by this, and this will impact what she does in the future.

The other larger question is: How is she getting her own work done if she spends so much time on the phone? And does anyone care about this? If this is a common practice in the firm, then maybe something should be done? Can this be brought up to HR? Not necessarily in a punitive way, but just as a way to remind folks about making personal calls at work?

Of course, there is always my suggestion to another reader of wearing your own headset so you don't have to hear everything around you. But, I would first talk to your cubemate and then HR to see what can be done.

Russell is the vice dean and the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist and has more than 25 years of experience coaching executives and consulting on leadership and career management.

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