How to Know If You’re Talking Too Much at the Office


Some people simply cannot keep their mouths shut within the office. And for this they are “awarded” some nasty nicknames while also annoying the heck out of the people they work with. Studies have shown that these types of person tend to hurt their careers pretty bad, especially when it comes to women.

Too much chatter in the office not only lowers the productivity and efficiency levels but it is also distracting. And even though some employees have great intentions of building friendships with co-workers and ensuring a better cooperation between them, when a person talks too much he or she will begin to interfere with the ability of his/her colleagues to work. If that is the case, maybe it’s a good idea to ask him or her to stop. However, this is easier said than done. You don’t want to come across as rude so you need to adopt a more tactful approach.

Still, what if you are Blabbing Bob or Chatty Cathy and you aren’t even aware of it? Are you that employee your coworkers hate to see coming?

Here are some great ways of finding out before you damage your career beyond repair:

1. Every person in the room wears headphones or earbuds. If you notice that your coworkers constantly wear headphones and listen to a song every time you approach or they have earbuds stuffed into their ears every time you enter the room, then I’m sorry to tell you that they are almost certainly trying to avoid you. It’s not all bad news, it could be worse. Actually, some of them could even point out that you are bothering them and that you should stop.

In order to avoid being the recipient of embarrassing passive-aggressive blow-offs such as the aforementioned ones, make sure to schedule some time to talk about several work-related topics with your coworkers and stay on-topic. The small talk should be saved for the break room and make sure you keep it brief. This will show your coworkers that you respect them and their time.

2. Be an expert at nonverbal signs. If you are an expert at nonverbal signs you can easily tell when and if you are annoying one of your colleagues or the boss. If his or her body language indicates that he or she has a lot of work to do, you need to turn away from that person and go toward your desk. You don’t want to see the person you are talking to adopting a bored look on his/her face.

3. You are the centre of almost every talk. If you find yourself initiating conversations with coworkers all the time (face it, if you’re reading this you probably do) or if you dominate the vast majority of conversations within the office, chances are you talk too much.

If you don’t see it, don’t fret, you’re not alone. Actually, most people are not aware that they talk too much within the office. Instead of having never ending conversations and bothering all of your colleagues, you should probably wait for other coworkers to start a conversation with you from time to time. You should probably start biting your tongue from time to time while others are having a conversation. Also, you shouldn’t interrupt them.

4. People are interested in looking at their phones when you talk. Whether it’s their phones, watches, shoes or just off in the distance, you are disturbing your coworkers. You get the point, or, then again you probably don’t. If a person glazes over and looks like they prefer to be anywhere but there listening to what you have to say, it’s because they probably would.

You should probably take their dismissive body language as a hint that you should probably keep quiet. If there’s something urgent you need to tell them, just send them an email or a text message. It’ll be just fine.

5. It just so happens that some individuals tend to be extremely talkative when they are nervous. If you are the type of employee that worries too much about a project or a task, you may feel the need to talk more than usual. Take a couple of minutes of your time to see if there is one of your colleagues near you to provide a useful piece of advice, some pointers or you could turn to your boss for some much required positive feedback.

6. You are unable to answer a question in a sentence or two. When a coworker ask you for the time and you end up telling him or her about that time you went to the seaside and you asked a stranger for the time on the plane. Still following? Not really. Neither did we. See? It’s really annoying.

Be a sport and answer questions in one or two questions, tops. Stop what you are doing, pay attention to the question and think about your answer before opening your mouth. You don’t need to say the first thing that pops into your mind. If the person who asked you a question has follow-up questions, then feel free to add to your answer. If that’s not the case, stop talking and move on.

If you are talking too much within the office, don’t despair and don’t start running to your nearest coworker to tell them all about this. Talking too much – whether at the office or anywhere else for that matter – is a bad habit. Yet, the good news is that it can be broken. While it may take time, practice and control, eventually you’ll get rid of this annoying habit.

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