Q: My cubicle is adjacent to someone who reports directly to me. A number of times, I’ve started to update her on something and she’s responded, “Oh, yeah, I overheard you talking to so and so about it.” How should I deal with this?
A: Your telephone voice may be the real culprit here. In a cubicle environment, everyone has to learn to speak softly. Besides lowering your decibel level, you could try addressing the situation with your co-worker this way: “Joan, you’ve mentioned overhearing my conversations several times. Am I talking so loudly that you can’t concentrate?” This approach opens the dialogue without accusing her of eavesdropping.