As your coworker cuts you off and starts dominating the meeting (yet AGAIN), your face flushes. You fight the urge to roll your eyes more than ever.
Here’s what to say to that coworker who doesn’t know when to stop talking about why they’re always right.
Show them that you’ll be an ally when you work together — but draw boundaries
“State your intention: ‘I’d like to work on this project collaboratively, and I know we won’t always agree. I’d like the work to be a reflection of both of our ideas,’” Allen suggests.
She continues, “sometimes you will just have to be very direct. For instance, say, ‘John, you have very strong opinions and I admire that; however, I feel cut off and dismissed when you insist that you are right or are not willing to compromise or collaborate with me.’”
Get some background on why they believe what they do
Put them on the spot.
Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, president of Humor at Work, and author of “The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses are Laughing all the Way to the Bank,” told Forbes that you should do some digging.
“Ask why they believe something to be true or where they found their sources. Asking pointed questions on specific details can teach a know-it-all over time that they need to have their facts in order before speaking out,” he told the publication.
Tell them about the impact they’re having on others
It’s not all about the know-it-all — or you, for that matter.
After asking to have a conversation with them, you can use these lines:
“We all know you are an expert in this area, but when you gave the answer right away, Nancy and Jorge immediately went quiet, so they didn’t get a chance to think things through or give their own answers. Did you notice that?” Claman writes.
But she cautions that if you say this to someone you don’t know well, you also run the risk of seeming like you know everything.
Thank them for their thoughts
Just don’t let them ruffle your feathers.
Alison Green, author of the Ask a Manager blog, writes in U.S. News & World Report about what to do when a know-it-all coworker likes to share where they stand on everything and critiques your job performance.
“Let it roll of your back. The more you ignore this person and don’t let him get to you, the better. When he offers an unsolicited opinion, say, ‘Thanks, I’ll think about that.’ And if you find yourself getting frustrated, comfort yourself with the knowledge that this person is widely considered obnoxious. You’re definitely not the only one annoyed,” Green writes.
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