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alabare's avatar

I need a creative way to shut one of my employees up! Any ideas?

Asked by alabare (282 points ) September 6th, 2007

This guy means well most of the time. I’m prepared to take a professional approach with his constant chatter and provide that feedback. However, thought I would pose the question and see if anyone had any creative solutions.

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16 Answers

glial's avatar

Like…he just talks generally too much instead of working, or is a sh@t talker…explain!

Hawaiiguy's avatar

If you have group meetings, for general annoyances like this I think that is the best time to approach it. Use a hypothetical person as an example, i use it with my employees and the person usually figures out its them without actually being “called out”, it works quite well.

alabare's avatar

@glial: He just talks too much. It’s like we receive a play by play on his entire day as it’s happening to him.

@Hawaiiguy: I hear ya. I’ve used a similar approach when addressing dress code and hygiene. Ugh, that was not a fun meeting.

gailcalled's avatar

I think that good management requires you to not humiliate him and so speak to him privately. Do you do periodic evaluations w. yr employees? That is a good time so that you can also find (if possible) some good things to say about his work first. Carrot, and then stick, but kindly. Remember not to start out w. “Basically.” 8—)The hard part about being the boss is the hard stuff, of course. And hygiene, OMG.

There are good books on good management skills, and how and when to bring them into play, if you can stand it. My ex, who was the Headmaster of a private school, used to suggest that the person he was about to fire, would be happy going to grad. school. No one was happy, of course, but everyone saved face (odd expression, now that I think of it.)

kevbo's avatar

Give him his own office with the lock on the outside of the door.

Can he work from home or a satellite office?

Tell him that you appreciate his enthusiasm, etc. and then explain that he can be more effective by making fewer interruptions.

Ease him into a role where his need to be social is an asset.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

@alabare I usually start with nose hair and dandruf, its all downhill from there.

gailcalled's avatar

Let us know the outcome…not a pleasant task, I know.

alabare's avatar

Ya’ll are great! Thanks so much.

winterchil's avatar

Ask him a really pointed question that puts him on the spot – if he’s paying attention and useful he may add value, if not he’ll shrink in embarrassment.

baseballnut's avatar

I think the key with something like this is to do it privately. He sounds like a verbal processor and with someone like that, nothing is true or finished until it’s been hashed over with others. Try to strike a balance between crushing him and sugarcoating the message so much that he doesn’t understand you. At the risk of sounding like Dr. Phil, I’d say something like this: “We’re a close knit team and it’s important to me that we all work well together. If we get along personally and actually like each other, that’s a bonus. Part of working together is learning to tolerate different work styles, as long as they don’t hurt the team dynamics. We love you, we’re interested in your opinions and your life, but we need to put the brakes on the play by play. How about limiting it to breaks and lunch when we can all participate?”

golfer's avatar

Something simple like, “Hey Joe, I need to get some work done. Would you mind?”

winblowzxp's avatar

Ahhh…that’s where he went. I once had an employee who did the same thing, and he also referred to himself in third person. So, basically I told him kind of like @baseball said, and told him that we’re in the fight together, and we each have a job to do. I also told him that thinking aloud can be a bit helpful, but we need to be careful when we do it as it distracts the other parts of the whole. Then I fired him for scanning ‘himself’ on company machines.

Bugabear's avatar

Try acting uninterested. Or you could do what my High school History teacher did to someone else. “You talk to much, Im putting you on a ten word limit.” or ” You know what I dont want to talk to you anymore.” Im not sure how well that would go down in a work environment.

sceclips's avatar

I have an employeee who talks to much, To custmers co-workers, she interups everyone.Is there a way to tell her she talks to much.and her topics are boring and long an sometimes out if line.

snowberry's avatar

Keep listening, @sceclips

Welcome to the collective!

snowberry's avatar

Ummm, I just thought of this. Perhaps your employee isn’t aware of what she’s doing. If you could tape record her (see above), or perhaps get a transcript of her conversations. For example, if she’s talking on the phone, you should be able to record her conversation for “quality control purposes”. LOL.

If you can arrange to be beside her for a few hours, (I bet she’d not be able to hold it in for that long), you should be able to take some notes and then talk to her about specific conversations she just had. That would probably work better than talking in generalities (“here have been complaints about you talking too much and interrupting”).

Is your company large enough to get HR to suggest that she get some counseling?

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