No doubt you have worked with or for someone who had some annoying habits. I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of these, ask how we should respond to such a coworker, and most importantly, make certain we are not guilty of annoying habits ourselves.

So, let’s consider annoying habit number one: You work with a person who makes daily calls to their mate or partner, and since you work in an open setting, you can’t help but hear the conversation. Depending on how they are getting along on any particular day, you may hear a nasty conversation with anger and accusations, or you may hear what sounds like sweet murmurings or baby talk.

Obviously, if you hold a supervisory position over this person, it should be addressed directly with clear instructions that those kinds of conversations should be on personal time and equipment, not on company time. However, if you are not this person’s manager or supervisor, you may be able to bring this to your coworker’s attention in such a way that they will see the benefit of changing that annoying habit.

Proverbs 17:27 says, “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.” Your words would need to be carefully chosen, delivered kindly, and done with the right motivation.

For example, you might find the right moment—a private moment—to say something like, “You probably are not aware that your conversations with your mate can be heard by other people. I thought I’d let you know, because I know if it were me, I wouldn’t want others to listen in to my daily personal conversations. You might want to reserve those calls for times when you’re alone.”

There’s a lesson for all of us to learn in this, and that is, to use our working time to work, not to rob our employer of the time when we are paid to work with elongated personal conversations, whether they’re overheard by others or not.

As Christians in the workplace, these little annoying habits can do damage to our testimony for Jesus Christ, so we should make sure we’re not guilty of these.