She wears jeggings to work and likes to tell you to do the same. At the coffee table, he is constantly blabbering on about the local sports team. When you go to hang up your coat, there he is, giving you advice about how to do your job. It's annoying, right? The office pest seems to waiting around every cubicle wall. Fortunately, there's a few smart strategies for dealing with someone who talks too much and offers too much information.
1. Be direct, not rude
There's a way to be direct without being rude. Use a softer approach. Just be honest and let the office pest know you have a ton of work to do and can't really chit-chat. Do this immediately before you get sucked into a lengthy conversation.
2. Use the bounce concept
Did you just see the office pest hanging out in the entryway? If you do, "bounce" your attention to someone else and strike up a conversation. It's a great way to meet new people at work. Besides, there's a good chance the person you meet won't be as annoying.
3. Make a phone call
If the office pest is really hampering your work, have your phone ready and make a quick call. It might seem a bit ridiculous, but it's not a bad idea if it means you call your spouse or a favorite customer instead. The office pest becomes a reminder to call someone you actually like.
4. Learn to blend
You might be an easy target for the office pest because you tend to go get coffee or eat lunch by yourself. Change that behavior. Find someone to join you, and tag team the pest or at least let him or her know you are already occupied in conversation.
5. Start talking first
Maybe this person is impossible to avoid. One strategy is to do the talking first--ask some tough questions or remind this person about company objectives. You'll be surprised how being proactive with information stops annoying coworkers in their tracks.
6. Have a meeting
As a last resort, go ahead and confront this person in a meeting. Be specific about how this person is wasting time in the office and needs to focus more on work. An office pest can slow down productivity for everyone. It's best to deal with the issue more intentionally.