What to do when a co-worker says something inappropriate?

Feb 18, 2022

I recently had a long-time subscriber and reach out to me regarding a co-worker saying things that were inappropriate.  To listen to the FULL situation and my response scroll down and grab the link to the podcast.


Should you have a staff member, co-worker etc. say inappropriate things start here:


  • Feel how you feel. Take time to gather your thoughts and think about the situation
  • How serious was the comment? Is it annoying or threatening? There is a BIG difference
  • What was the intent of the comment? Was it someone “trying to be funny” were they trying to embarrass you?
  • Address it. If you are comfortable then address it in private, if you’re not comfortable you may want someone else in the room as a witness
  • Ask the person to explain the comment. This helps you understand the intent and also lets the commentor know you are “not for it”.
  • Explain how it made you feel and that it is unacceptable.
  • Escalate if need be (upper manager, HR, etc.)


Some people are rude, spiteful and/or ignorant.  Others “think” they are being cute or funny.  Either way, if it is inappropriate you should deal with it sooner rather than later.


To hear the full conversation, listen to the No Nonsense Leadership Podcast






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