Dos and Don’ts: How to Handle an Offensive Remark at Work

Your colleague says something that immediately makes you feel uncomfortable. He thinks he’s just being funny, but the comment is inappropriate — maybe even offensive, sexist, or racist. What should you say or do if you find yourself in this situation? Is there a way to draw attention to the comment without putting the other person on the defensive? And are you risking your reputation, job, or career by speaking up?

There’s no denying that this is a tough situation. It’s normal to question ourselves in these situations, wondering whether we heard the person right or if it was just a joke.

Even if you think you would say something in the situation, you may find the reality is different.  Should you address the comment immediately, wait for a while, or not say anything at all?

The next time a colleague says something offensive, remember the following guidelines.

Dos Donts (8)

 

This article has been excerpted from How to Respond to an Offensive Comment at Work.

 

 

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