Career Advice

Three Ways To Respond To Inappropriate Work Discussions

Job Devoted 16 May, 2022

Inappropriate work discussions might come your way one day, and you'll need to know the best way to handle them to maintain your professionalism. An inappropriate discussion could be about anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, but typically it's a risque conversation that has nothing to do with business operations.

It may have a vulgar nature or go against someone's protected class. Here's what you can do if you're exposed to that type of chatter:

Ask the Person To Stop Politely

Not all jobs train their employees appropriately. Therefore, the person who offended you might not know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate workplace conversations. It's possible that the worker or managera didn't know the conversation was offensive and was holding a discussion he would generally have around his family or friends.

You can give him the benefit of the doubt and ask him to refrain from future discussions if they bother you. The individual might be courteous enough to stop. Alternatively, he might increase the offensive discussions to offend you further. Some people delight in making things unpleasant for other people.

Report the Incident To Your Boss

The next step is to chat with your boss or immediate supervisors about the offensive conversation. Your boss has the authority to take action by giving the offending party a warning or write-up. Sometimes people cease foul behaviour once management gets involved. So, this tactic might work if your boss has strong morals, standards, and work ethics. If not, you can get a third party involved.

Take It To Human Resources

The last resort is to talk to human resources before you decide to leave your job or seek legal counsel outside of work. The human resources specialists often act as neutralisers who stop problems before they can affect business. You can schedule a meeting to talk to them to see if they can end the offensive behaviour. At that point, they might choose to reprimand the other person, terminate him, move him, or move you.

You have a right to work in a non-offensive workplace. Don't be afraid to respond in one of the ways mentioned above if someone offends you. A decent workplace will do the right thing to ensure all workers receive fair treatment.