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To ask does workplace social awkwardness/stuttering make co-workers feel uncomfortable?

(10 Posts)
WereNotDabbling Sat 30-May-20 18:55:35

Just asking this really.
Do you think that in a workplace people need to be reasonably at ease with themselves otherwise extreme social awkwardness like stuttering etc can cause others to feel uncomfortable and people may doubt things like competency to speak to the public if that's what the job entails?

OP’s posts: |
seeingdots Sat 30-May-20 19:19:29

I much prefer slightly socially awkward colleagues to overconfident ones. I also have a colleague who stutters a bit and it doesn't bother me at all, nor it seems anyone else. He's a nice guy, very intelligent and good at his job so is well respected. Your work will speak for itself.

sarahb083 Sat 30-May-20 20:05:24

I agree with @seeingdots. Coworkers who are aggressive, overconfident, mean, etc do make me uncomfortable. Coworkers who are socially awkward or stutter don't.

SeriouslySoDoneIn Sat 30-May-20 20:06:27

A stutter hasn’t got anything to do with social awkwardness hmm

WereNotDabbling Sat 30-May-20 20:10:20

SeriouslySoDoneIn - I know but I've suffered from both

OP’s posts: |
Olliephaunt4eyes Sat 30-May-20 20:21:45

I think it depends. I have to be honest, I think if someone was hugely socially awkward and clearly uncomfortable around people and couldn't express themselves clearly, I probably wouldn't want them in a public facing role, just because I can't imagine it would go well for anyway.

If it was a slower paced, back office role where they were only dealing with colleagues, then absolutely fine.

gabsdot45 Sat 30-May-20 20:38:53

YABU to refer to stuttering at social awkwardness. Stuttering is not a due to lack of social skills.

Sparklesocks Sat 30-May-20 20:55:33

I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive?
If someone had a stutter I wouldn’t find it uncomfortable, I understand it’s something they can’t help.

As for socially awkwardness, I think it’s quite common. I don’t hold anything against anyone who has those issues at work.

Sparklesocks Sat 30-May-20 21:00:46

But yes like pp if a role entailed a large chunk of dealing with/talking to the public then I would maybe suggest that wouldn’t be the best role for someone who struggles with social awkwardness - but more for their own sake, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or stressed at work because a portion of it was something they find very difficult.

newyearnoeu Sat 30-May-20 21:26:18

stuttering - no, no issue at all
social awkwardness, depends. I agree that in some cases people who are a bit awkward can be much more interesting and nicer to chat with that the overconfident, brash types.

However, I work with someone who is pretty social awkward and basically not really up to doing the public facing, occasionally confrontational side of our job. Our manager has realised this so has rejigged her role so said person spends 99% of her time 'concentrating on her strengths' i.e. doing back office stuff, whereas the rest of us obviously still have to do the awkward public bit. This has caused a lot of resentment along the lines of 'well I don't like having to do x but I applied for the job on the understanding that that's what it entails so why does y get an exemption? Surely she should be punished for being incompetent at a major part of her job, not rewarded but having the stressful part taken off her while the rest of us struggle on?'

So honestly, yes, in some industries I do think people need to have a basic level of confidence and skills in public interaction (or at least be able to fake it). In other sectors that aren't customer facing it wouldn't be so much of an issue.

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