How to prevent uncomfortable office conversations |

How to prevent uncomfortable office conversations

 27th Sep 2017

Prevent difficult or uncomfortable work conversations | Communication Tips  |


The average working week is over 35 hours and for many, we are in the office every day. The relationships you maintain with your colleagues can be long-lasting and affect how you fit into an organisation. For some of us, starting conversations and maintaining good work relationships can be more difficult than others. 


Deciphering the right conversation topic to start interesting conversations can be the key to begin. This can be particularly difficult if you consider yourself introvert and have just started a new job. It’s important to avoid the following conversation topics: 


·         Religion 

·         Politics 

·         Sex life 

·         Home problems i.e. marital issues 


These topics can cause friction, make people feel uncomfortable or are completely inappropriate in a professional environment. It’s important to understand conversation boundaries at work. 


What should we talk about? 


Anything positive is usually deemed as acceptable behaviour. You want to maintain professional but interesting, as much as your colleagues are your friends, at the same time they could be your competition or ready to put you down to get ahead. Try to use some of the following topics to build better relationships with colleagues: 


·         Common experiences, interests, and hobbies 

·         Thoughts and feeling about common topics 

·         Weekend plans 

·         Lunch options 

·         The weather or environmental occurrences 

·         The news 

·         Positive personal news you’re happy to share 

·         Interesting facts or trends 

·         Seasonal events 

·         Work or social parties 


On top of these topics, it’s important to integrate emotions such as empathy and support for your colleagues. These techniques will build a great foundation for a friendship. Friendship with your colleagues can increase your enjoyment in work as you will feel more welcomed and comfortable. This could reduce staff turnover rates which is why team bonding exercises are always good events to attend. 


There are still uncomfortable chats occurring in the office 


Create a Policy 




If your staff or colleagues are constantly having inappropriate conversations openly in the office. It might be time to create a policy. This will establish appropriate communication and avoid harassment or conversation which could be deemed as inappropriate. A policy may include the use of employers-owned technology for personal conversations and a prohibition of recording conversations in work.


The policy may outline what is inappropriate if employees discuss people with a disability or protected status, such as age, gender, race, ethnicity or pregnancy. 


Often office conversation will be determined by what industry you’re in as different personality types are usually drawn to specific industries. It can be different in every office. Use these conversation tips to ensure you develop good work relationships which could eventually help your career. 



If you’re currently seeking for a new career or need some professional expert advice, contact us via email at or call us 02890918529 




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