Chronic Talker

Dear Claudia Confidentially,

What would be the best way to handle a co-worker in meetings who talks non-stop?

Reserved in Dover

Dear Reserved,

I know what the impulse is in these situations. You want to tell the person to shut up, in no uncertain terms. But I also know that you want to “reserve” this option so as not to be hurtful. We all have hurtful impulses, it’s part of being human, and then we were given a brain to somehow keep us from actually being hurtful! It’s not easy to struggle with natural impulses, and this is the predicament you are in now.

A few tips to help you deal with wanting to “shut” this person up.

  1. Ask yourself why this person is talking so much. It could be anxiety. Then, the person needs reassurance. 
  2. Set “rules of order” for the whole group so as not to draw attention to any one person. These rules can include limits on how much time each person takes to speak.

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