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Bird-talker or how to shut up a talker

There are people who could earn a million a day, getting a ruble for every word spoken. They are difficult, loud, and uncomfortable. We learn to talk to chatterers and keep quiet in the office.

This article will be useful to anyone who appreciates hearing hygiene in the workplace

Why do people talk
Often a chatterbox is a choleric who needs to share his feelings and thoughts with colleagues. It’s hard to stay calm when you’re overwhelmed from the inside. Therefore, their speeches are emotional and long.

If such a person does not feel personal boundaries, he can hotly argue on a topic that is not interesting to you, provoking answers. The absence of borders prevents him from understanding what is happening (Oh, horror!) not interested in the details of his life and (nightmare!) opinion on all issues. The talker considers it important to explain why he thinks/acts this way. If there is a corresponding or remotely similar experience, he uses it as a trump card. He doesn’t know that you don’t care.

The most slippery type of chatterbox is profane. They try to hide their incompetence behind verbosity and fuss. They tell us how hard they work, why they can’t show a prototype and name intermediate results. Cut to the quick — ask for specifics. It’s not going to get any worse, and if you indulge their arguments, you’ll drag it out for a long time.

It is easy to understand that there are one or more chatterers in the office: everyone will work with headphones on their head or be alert.

How to make it clear and not offend
Talkers are vulnerable people. Even if justice is on your side, a threatening remark after half an hour of verbiage can offend them.

In No Case Do Not Try To Talk To The Chatterbox. You will spend a lot of time and nerves with zero results. When you start breaking bad, you go to the level of a talkative colleague, at which he is a professional. Here, prepare for defeat.

Show the other person that you respect their opinion, but are not ready to engage in a dialogue or discussion. Often the answer “Yes, I understand” or “of course, I do not argue” is enough to cool his ardor.

The role of a talker sometimes hides an insecure person who is important to enlist support and participation. He is looking for understanding, so give it to the talker! False interest is noticeable, so take the trouble to quickly understand the essence of the question and answer succinctly to the point. This will save you from a tedious conversation about anything.

In “clinical” cases, you can simulate a call to a mobile phone. Ask a friend about it in the FB or, seeing the inevitable, set the alarm for 1-2 minutes ahead. Don’t do this if your Manager is a chatterbox.

Solve work issues
A harmless clarification can result in an inspired monologue. To avoid this, clearly state the question. Do not hesitate to politely interrupt a colleague if his answer has become lengthy and overgrown with unnecessary details. Or be modest, wasting your time.

Especially be categorical if the chatterbox is your subordinate. When it has suffered, refer to it by name (this sharpens the attention) and ask to be brief. If the point is clear, and the monologue continues, use the pause on the breath to tactfully thank the interlocutor and switch to another question.

Remember the epic “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” and retransmit to “I don’t engage in conversations with talkers.” They are not terrorists, but they can undermine the working mood, grab attention and kill the initiative. Resist!

If you need to devote more than a couple of minutes to a conversation with a talkative colleague, at the start, indicate the rules: “I have exactly half an hour, let’s meet this time.” The human talker in the next office? Great! Limit yourself to email, if the case suffers.

How to restore silence and order
The disease is easier to prevent than to cure, and it is easier not to start a chatterbox than to calm down.

Outbursts of speech are unpredictable, but every talker has a favorite topic. Once you say the trigger phrase, you can’t stop your colleague. This is his hobby, and he can selflessly broadcast about the dangers of vaccinations, angelina Jolie, floor-length dresses, housing, baking… Topics can be different. Remember them and avoid them.

The easiest way to stop the flow of words is to get your colleague back on track. Ask him an important question that will require a distraction to answer. The question should be clear, implying the same answer: the talker should not be able to continue spreading the thought on the tree in another topic. This way you will confuse him, and if you are lucky, remind him of an important task.

Notorious talkers talk even when they are not being listened to, stick their heads in monitors/papers and turn away. They ask for a moment and honestly admit that they “can’t even”.

Not hesitate. Apologize and say firmly that you can’t communicate. Briefly explain why: “I have a meeting in half an hour”, “I am writing an important letter”. Refusal with a reason sounds more convincing than without it.


Don’t be sticky
It’s not fatal, but it’s bad. You can get rid of the tag of the bird-talker, and the first step is to realize that your sociability interferes with others. Remember how someone’s flow of words has tired you, and don’t be like that.

Be honest with yourself, try to understand why you are talking. Do not believe in yourself? Used to being a star? Do you think that there is your opinion and wrong? Make a “diagnosis” to get rid of a bad habit.

People don’t need to know all your thoughts. You may be an only child and your parents doted on you. But demanding the same amount of attention from strangers (even friends) is selfish. Out of the kindness of your heart, you can respond in a friendly way and maintain a dialogue — do not abuse your manners. Forget the duty question “Will I distract you?”. Distract.

Chatter has its own biochemistry. Among addictions — from alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling – there is an addiction to approval. The brain strives for comfort, and if you are talking just to get support and admiring glances, congratulations: you are a dopamine addict.

The rush of the stress hormone cortisol does not prompt you to eliminate the cause (putting out deadlines, making up for incompetence, shoveling debris), although it is cortisol that focuses attention on the danger, whether it is a hungry tiger or a broken deadline. Instead, you create the illusion of control by invoking the hormones of joy. You talk to get approval and calm down.

Much good
Let your self-esteem not depend on the number of words spoken. Eastern wisdom advises you to pass everything you want to say through three sieves: truth, kindness,and good. If you are not sure of the truth of the message, if it does not show the person in the best light and does not bear any benefit, keep it to yourself.

If you estimate yourself by the number of words spoken, and there was no interlocutor for the day, then in the evening you will feel melancholy. Become self-sufficient: learn not to depend on how many thoughts you have voiced. Claim experience and the rightness of things.

Listen — it’s much more useful than talking. Remember how in “Fight club”? People don’t listen to each other, but wait for their turn to speak. Are you with them?..

Follow the written speech
Chatter is not only oral. Multi-page reports, emails about everything, inappropriate comments, and blurred tasks are all the same. Learn to write briefly and clearly. Let’s set a task for the designer.

Bad: please Make a cool banner as you can. Dimensions, like the one before last, with hammocks. Text and description in the trailer for this email.

Well: Need a banner 240*480. TOR is attached.

Write informative, on the case-please the Manager with reports without water. Use standardized forms for reports. The results of the work can be easily processed and analyzed in Google Docs, Get Report, and Handy KPI. We are convinced that the most convenient option is reports in the Megaplan corporate CRM system. Here you can link them to plans, KPIs, and payroll.

Keep your mouth shut when replying to an email or comment. Write according to the structure of the request letter, if it is there. For the convenience of the interlocutor, questions can be quoted.


Fight for the silence
You can effectively deal with office chatter when all your colleagues understand its danger, want to work more and talk less. Otherwise, there will be a dissenter who still does not understand everything and not all the jokes are told.

Enlist the support of colleagues in an informal setting, discussing what you often talk about anything.

Let the most ideological and responsible (a kind of “knight of the quiet office”) follow the agenda. When the discussion of a new company product turns into a dispute about the best football player of the year, the “knight” should be on the alert, voice or bell returning colleagues to the ground. For” flashes of speaking”, you can charge symbolic fines to the General piggy Bank.

If the office and budget allow, arrange a “quiet room”. There is no need to cover the walls with felt, just a new door and Windows. Top of the chic-aquarium and sofas. Any conversation in such a room is taboo.

Confer on the plan
To planerki not turned into gatherings around the fire:

* set time limits (half an hour for the General meeting, 15 minutes for the Department);

* hold one meeting a day;

* develop a meeting scenario and stick to it;

* distribute responsibilities for planning meetings (to change the slides, follow the silence);

* summarize the conversation: send an email with abstracts and agreements to the participants of the conversation.

Communicate and do not interfere
Turn off the sound on your mobile, unless you are a sales person, Secretary, or big boss.

Answer personal calls outside the office. No matter how relaxed the atmosphere, colleagues do not need to know what your child is drawing and in what form the cutlets are.

Salvation for large offices — “phone booth”: a meeting room for one person, designed in the form of a payphone booth. This solves two issues: the staff does not chat in the workplace, and conversations become shorter — the desire to often and for a long time to Twitter “for life” disappears when this happens in plain sight.

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