How to gently deal with a chatty co-worker who is disrupting work.

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Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

A person sitting in a restaurant talks on her mobile phone.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. tackles your human resources questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest HR professional society and author of “Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.”

The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor’s answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a question? Do you have an HR or work-related question you’d like me to answer? Submit it here.

Question: A co-worker, who I generally like, would stop at my desk once daily to chat for a few minutes. Recently, this co-worker has been dropping by more frequently and it is beginning to disrupt my work. How can I let this person know that we need to put a limit to our chatting? – Serena



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