Meeting Offense: How do I deal with distracting side conversations at work?

Q: How can I handle disruptive behavior in a business meeting?  In addition, how do I handle theses same behaviors, such as side conversations, in a work setting?

 

 

A: In general, the person running the meeting would politely ask that person to stop.  For example, “John, I would appreciate your attention.”  If someone next to you is being disruptive, it would be appropriate for you to say something like, “John, excuse me but I’m trying to listen.”  In the workplace, if co-workers’ conversations are disruptive to your work, you may politely explain that their conversation is making it difficult for you to work.  The same holds true for other distractions such as noise.  If this doesn’t work, you may bring the matter to the attention of your supervisor.

Farewell Faux Pas: Is attending your own party really necessary?

Q: A co-worker is leaving after 8 years of employment. She has requested that a farewell party not be held in her honor. Instead, co-workers have decided to take her out to dinner. Her boss has decided that a farewell party will be held during office hours. Can she refuse to attend?

A: There is no correct answer. It might be awkward for her not to attend a party in her honor that is held during office hours. However, it’s her choice. Nonetheless, it would be more diplomatic for her to attend and graciously accept the good wishes of those present.

Women’s Wishes: Disliking your boss’s choice of address term

Q: My boss always refers to female employees as ‘ladies.’ I find it condescending. Am I being too sensitive, or is it proper to use another term such as ‘women?’

A: It is not inappropriate to refer to women as ‘ladies.’ Although you might feel this term is condescending, it would be better to assume that is not your boss’s intention.

Correcting a Corrector: Tactfully telling someone to stop correcting others

Q: How do you explain to a co-worker how rude it is to correct another person’s faux pas in a meeting without being just as rude?

A: If you are the person the co-worker is correcting, you could tell the person in private and tactfully that you would appreciate him or her not correcting your mistake in front of others. Otherwise, it is just as inappropriate to correct the co-worker’s lapse in etiquette.

Company Cards: How to sign an office-wide sympathy card

Q: When a sympathy card is being sent from an office, is it appropriate for all staff members to sign the card, or should it just be signed from the staff at whatever company you are sending it from?

A: Either was is appropriate especially if it is from a small office and co-workers would like to add a personal message.