When you’ve got something confidential to say, find a private setting. If you’ve got something unfavorable to say about a coworker or boss, keep it to yourself.

What do you do when you overhear a conversation that involves you?

Picture it, you’re walking down the hall and as you approach the conference room you overhear your name. You slow down and quietly take your next step in hopes of hearing more.

What you overhear is unflattering and unpleasant. As you walk into the conference room, the conversation comes to a halt, and all of a sudden everyone in the room needs a cup of coffee or a trip to the restroom. Those who are left behind, awkwardly introduce a new subject.

What do you do? 

  1. Smile and in a condemning tone ask them why they were talking about you?
  2. Grab your coat and go home for the day.
  3. Sternly stare at each person, hoping to make them uncomfortable?
  4. If you know who made the remark and ask them to take a little walk with you.
  5. Participate in the meeting as planned. Schedule an appointment with your boss to discuss the dilemma.
  6. During the meeting announce to everyone that you overheard the conversation?
  7. Could what you heard be a gift in disguise?
  8. Ignore it.
  1. Why not choose “h.” After all, can you honestly say that you’ve never been guilty of murmuring a snarky or critical remark about someone? Hmm?
  2. Let’s consider “g.” We all have quirks or habits that we’re unaware of. And although tough to hear, it might be an alert to help us conquer our quirk.
  3. How about “d.”  Naturally, you must remain civil and non-accusatory. Allow your colleague to explain. Take it all in, sit with it for a day. Who knows, the information could serve as a self-improvement opportunity.
  4. If self-control isn’t your strong suit, consider “f.”

Final thoughts:  Can we blame the immediate access to communicate as the reason for our lack of good sense?  We post and speak before taking into consideration who is around us, how loud we’re speaking, and is what we’re stating precisely what we intend?

Running away or to HR, crying, throwing a tantrum, or the like, is not a good career move. This is when your social skills and your professionalism (or lack of) come in to play.

Helping Businesses and Individuals Find Success Through Better Communication and Social Skills

having lunch with a CEO, business dining etiquetteRosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”

Presentations are available to support HR policies, sales teams, up and coming managers, millennials & new-hire orientation process, service technicians, professional development events, conferences, college/university students, interns. For more information, please contact me, 650.871.6200.

© 2017, Rosalinda Randall. All Rights Reserved.

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