How To Talk To Your Coworkers About Lunch-Stealing & Other Awkward Topics

Illustration by Abbie Winters.
Relationships with coworkers can be tricky. You spend an enormous amount of time around them, but you generally don’t get to choose who they are.
There’s professional pressure to maintain reasonably good relations with them, which means that you can’t always speak your mind in the way that you might with friends or family — and yet their behavior can have a huge impact on your quality of life at work, and sometimes on your work itself. On top of that, there are often internal politics to navigate, which can make even the most straightforward conversations feel fraught.
Given all of this, it’s understandable that you might be hesitant to raise an issue with a coworker. But so often, just approaching the problem in the right way will get you the results you want without introducing the kind of tension you might fear. Here are seven ways to do just that.
Excerpted from Ask A Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work by Alison Green by permission of Ballantine Books, A Penguin Random House Company.
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