I have a co-worker who in the past I’ve had some issues with, and her cubicle backs directly up to mine. The problem is, there is a constant stream of people visiting all day long. The chatter is very distracting. I’m not sure how to get it to stop or have her cube moved. Or should I have my cube moved? What should I do?
Dear Cubicle Conflict,
It’s a challenge to work in such close proximity with individuals that forget there are others trying to get their work done nearby. If you could move your cubicle, that might solve the issue, but it doesn’t give this co-worker the chance to change, nor does it show higher-ups that you can be proactive and assertive before enlisting their support.
I would choose to be assertive by following the DEAL approach that I teach. D stands for describe the situation using facts, E – express your feelings, A – ask for what you want, L-Look for agreement or understanding. For example, “When people drop by your cubicle throughout the day, I can hear most of your conversations. This concerns me because I find it difficult to concentrate on my work. I need you to keep your voices down or perhaps go somewhere else to talk. Do you think we could work this out?” Making this DEAL allows your co-worker to know how you feel and make choices accordingly. If it continues, now you can ask to be moved and still have demonstrated to your supervisor your willingness to have a crucial conversation.