Dear Dr. Mimi:
There is a woman I work closely with who talks and talks. Don’t get me wrong, she is a great employee and I thoroughly enjoy our conversations, but she is a very big distraction to me. Is there a nice way for me to say something? I have to stay late to finish my work because of the conversations.
Sit down with this woman and explain to her that you have a hard time staying focused when she is talking because you so enjoy the conversations. Be polite but firm. Let her know that you enjoy her, but when you talk with her, you fall behind in your work. Suggest that you can catch up at times like lunch and breaks. If she starts to talk with you, remind her that you have work to do. It may take a few times for her to get the message, but don’t give up! Remember, it takes two to have a conversation.