Part-Time Work: How can I silence side conversations during meetings?

Q: Two of my coworkers are always having side conversations during our weekly staff meetings, which makes it tough for me to focus.  Is there a nice way to shush them?


A: To silence chatty Cathys, give them a subtle hint.  If you’re having difficulty concentrating, don’t be afraid to speak up.  Your impulse might be to try and hush the talkers on the spot (“Shhh . . . I can’t hear!”), but that can be an annoying interruption in and of itself and could create awkwardness between you and your colleagues.  A better idea: Simply say to whoever is supposed to have the floor, “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?  I missed that last comment.”  The side talkers will almost certainly get the message.

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