How to Nag your Colleagues and Remain Friends


Around the office I answer to a variety of titles, administrative assistant, blog mom, lioness, and most recently, I have become the “nag” of the office. This new addition to my administrative assistant title has made me realize some very valuable principles about nagging my colleagues. Here are some of the nagging principles I have learned from my working experience in different offices with all kinds of people.

Principle 1:  Say Please

Please is a very powerful word in the business world. It changes a demand into a request and softens even the most painful work. I have not met anyone who likes to be told what to do in a demanding and authoritative way. This little word can change the way your colleagues respond to their work and to you.

Principle 2: The Friendly Reminder

Email a person a friendly reminder before coming at them with guns a-blazin’. Usually there is no malice behind forgetfulness, most people legitimately forget. Give them the benefit of the doubt and don’t patronize them. The response tends to be better received if your first step is a quick and gentle reminder.

Principle 3: When to Nag

Notice what is going on in the office and plan around it. Does John already have three huge projects piling up? Is Suzie coughing profusely? Does Karen look like she’s been pulling her hair out? Paying attention to the people you work with on more than just a surface level is key to knowing when a good time to remind them to do something is. If George is about to blow, that is probably not the best time to tell him the TPS Report needs to be done by lunch time.

Principle 4: Danke Schoen

Although Wayne Newton wasn’t a businessman, he knew the importance of saying thank you. Positive reinforcement works really well with most people because, after all, who doesn’t like to be appreciated and noticed?

It’s funny how the things we learn in kindergarten really never change. Mind your manners, treat others as you would like to be treated, think about what you say before you say it, don’t eat crayons, etc.

So I think nag away, just nag with mercy and tact.

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2 Responses to “How to Nag your Colleagues and Remain Friends”

  1. Linda Says:

    I’m a regular recipient of Ladonna’s nags, and I will admit that I LOVE IT. Thanks Ladonz!

  2. Inez Says:

    I love LaDonna and LaDonna’s nagging. You were awesome last week (and you always are)!!

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