How To Tell Your Boss About A Bad Coworker – 11 Steps

Written By Aleena

When dealing with bad coworkers, sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands. This might mean telling your boss about the problem. Here’s how to tell your boss about a bad coworker.

Telling your boss about a lousy coworker can be tricky. 

You don’t want to come across as petty or aggressive, but you also don’t want the problem to worsen.

How To Tell Your Boss About A Bad Coworker

Here are a few steps for telling your boss about a terrible coworker.

Before Telling Your Boss About A Bad Coworker

How to tell your boss about a bad coworker? First, let’s discover what you have to work at before going to boss:

1. Assess The Situation:

Before you go to your boss, take some time to assess the situation. 

Figure out what, specifically, is making this person a bad coworker:

– Is it their attitude?

– Their work ethic?

– Are they constantly disrupting the office?

Once you have a better idea of what’s going on, you’ll be able to explain the situation to your boss better.

2. Collect Evidence:

If possible, try to collect some evidence of the poor coworker’s behaviour. 

How To Tell Your Boss About A Bad Coworker

This could be:

– Emails

– Screenshots

– Witness testimonies.

Having concrete evidence will help your case when you talk to your boss. 

It is a mandatory step and can be strengthened with a diary of the events.

3. Talk To The Coworker In Question:

Before you go to your boss, try to talk to the coworker in question. 

See if there’s anything you can do to resolve the situation between you.

 Suppose you can resolve the issue without involving your boss. Otherwise, you will have to tell your boss what’s going on.

4. Choose The Right Time To Talk To Your Boss:

When you talk to your boss about a bad coworker, please choose a time when they’re not busy or stressed. 

This will help them be more receptive to what you have to say.

 You can ask for their appointment from their secretary or their assistant. Do not go to your boss without an appointment.

5. Prepare Yourself:

Before you talk to your boss, take some time to prepare yourself. 

You don’t want to fly off the handle or come across as too emotional.

Some things you can do to prepare yourself include:

– Taking some deep breaths

– Writing down what you want to say

– Practicing what you want to say out loud

– Being aware of your body language

You’ll be more confident when talking to your boss when you’re prepared.

Telling Your Boss About A Bad Coworker

Now that you’ve assessed the situation and collected evidence, it’s time to talk to your boss. Here are a few tips for doing so:

1. Introduce Yourself And Explain The Situation:

Start by introducing yourself and explaining the situation. Be concise and to the point. 

Don’t go into too much detail, as your boss may not have the time to listen. Just give them a brief overview of what’s going on. 

You can start with:

– “Hi, I’m _____. I’ve been having some problems with a coworker, and I wanted to talk to you.”

– “Hi, I’m _____. I think there’s a problem with _____.”

2. Describe The Coworker’s Behavior:

Next, describe the coworker’s behaviour. Again, be concise and to the point. 

How To Tell Your Boss About A Bad Coworker (2)

Try to use specific examples of their bad behaviour. You can say:

– “They’re always disruptive in the office.”

– “They’re always coming in late.”

– “Their attitude is terrible.”

3. Explain How This Is Affecting You:

Finally, explain how this is affecting you. Be honest and open. 

Talk about how the bad coworker is making you feel. You can say:

– “I’m having a hard time concentrating.”

– “I’m stressed out because of them.”

– “They’re making me feel uncomfortable.”

4. Explain The Evidence:

Next, explain the evidence you’ve collected. This will help you back up your claims.

 Be sure to present the evidence clearly and concisely. You can say:

– “I have a screenshot of _____.”

– “Also, I have an email from _____.”

– “I have a witness who saw _____.”

5. Ask For Help:

Once you’ve explained the situation, ask for your boss’s help. You can say:

– “I’m not sure what to do. Can you help me?”

– “I need some advice on how to handle this.”

– “Can we talk about possible solutions?”

By asking for help, you’re showing that you’re willing to work together to resolve the situation.

6. Thank Them For Their Time:

Finally, thank your boss for their time. You can say:

– “Thank you for listening.”

– “Thanks for your help.”

– “I appreciate your time.”

This will show that you’re grateful for their help and value their time.

Tips To Remember When You Tell Your Boss About A Bad Coworker

While you tell your boss about a bad coworker, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Be Respectful:

Remember, you’re talking to your boss about another coworker. Even if this person is causing you a lot of stress, be respectful. 


Address your boss by their title (Mr. or Mrs.) and use polite language. With this, you show that you’re a professional. 

If you go about this the wrong way, you may be unprofessional. It can make you incompetent in your boss’s eyes.

2. Don’t Badmouth:

It’s important not to badmouth the coworker to your boss. 

This can make you seem unprofessional and immature. It could also damage your relationship with your boss. 

Save your complaints later, after you’ve talked to them about the situation. It will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

3. Stick To The Facts:

When describing the situation to your boss, stick to the facts. Don’t exaggerate or add any unnecessary information.

 This can make your boss doubt your claims and make them less likely to help you.

Just give them the facts, and let them decide what to do.

4. Be Patient:

Your boss may not be able to solve the problem right away.

 They may need time to think about it or talk to the other coworker. 

Be patient and give them the time they need. They’ll appreciate it, showing that you’re willing to work together to resolve the situation.

5. Don’t Get Emotional:

It’s important not to get emotional when talking to your boss about this situation. 

You want to come across as calm and collected. If you get too emotional, your boss may not take you seriously.

 They may think you’re overreacting and that the situation isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be.

6. Be Professional:

When you talk to your boss about a bad coworker, be professional. Avoid attacking the coworker or using emotional language. 

Stay calm and polite, and address your boss by their title. This will show that you’re a professional, making your boss more likely to help you.

7. Follow Up:

After you’ve talked to your boss, follow up with them.

 Check in to see if they’ve talked to the other coworker and if they’ve come up with a solution. If they haven’t, offer some possible explanations of your own. 

follow up

You’re showing that you’re still interested in resolving the situation by following up.

8. Don’t Worry If They Don’t Listen:

Even if your boss doesn’t listen to you, don’t worry. 

You’ve done your best to resolve the situation, and you can always talk to them again if it gets worse. 

Remember, it’s not always easy to talk to your boss about a bad coworker, but it’s worth it.

 You’ll feel much better once you’ve resolved the situation.

9. Bring Someone Along, If Necessary:

If you’re nervous about talking to your boss, you can always bring someone along. 

This could be a friend, family member, or even another coworker. 

Having someone there for support will make it easier to talk to your boss, and it will help you stay calm.

10. Get Everything In Writing:

If possible, try to get everything in writing. This could be an email or a letter.

 This way, you have a record of what was said, and you can refer back to it if necessary.

 This is especially important if your boss doesn’t take action right away. 

You’re showing that you’re serious about the situation by getting it in writing. Also, you expect them to take action.

11. Talk To HR:

If you’ve talked to your boss and they haven’t taken any action, you can always talk to HR. 

They may be able to help you resolve the situation, or they may have some suggestions for you. However, keep in mind that HR is not always on your side. 

They may not be willing to help you, so it’s essential to be prepared for that possibility.

12. Consider Quitting:

If the situation is terrible and your boss isn’t doing anything about it, you may want to consider quitting. 

This is a big decision, but it may be the best thing for you in the long run. 

If you do quit, make sure to do it in a way that will look good on your resume.

When To Tell Your Boss About A Bad Coworker

It can be challenging to know when to tell your boss about a bad coworker. 

You don’t want to wait too long, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them with information. 

Here are a few tips for figuring out when it’s the right time to talk to your boss:

1. When Your Coworker Is Disruptive:

If your coworker is disruptive, it’s probably time to talk to your boss. 

This includes talking loudly, interrupting others, and generally being disruptive. 

If your coworker is preventing you from getting work done, it’s time to say something.

2. When Your Coworker Is Unprofessional:

If your coworker is behaving unprofessionally, tell your boss about it. This includes things like:

– Being rude

– Using offensive language, or

– Engaging in inappropriate behaviour.

disturbing coworker behavior


 If your coworker is making you feel uncomfortable, it’s time to speak up.

3. When Your Coworker Is Making Mistakes:

If your coworker is making mistakes affecting your work, your boss needs to know. This includes things like:

– Forgetting to do tasks

– Making mistakes on projects, and

– Generally not being reliable. If your coworker is causing you stress or headaches, it’s time to step in.

4. When the Situation Is Getting Worse:

If the situation is getting worse, talk to your boss. This includes things like:

– The other coworker became more aggressive

– The situation turns into a conflict, or

– Problem affecting your work life. 

If you’re not sure whether or not it’s time to talk to your boss, go ahead and do it.

5. When Your Coworker Is Bullying Or Harassing You:

If your coworker is bullying or harassing you, go to your boss. This includes things like verbal abuse, physical abuse, and sexual harassment. 

These are serious offences, and you shouldn’t have to deal with them alone.

These are just a few examples of when it’s time to tell your boss about a bad coworker. 

If you’re ever feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and talk to your boss. 

They can’t help you if they don’t know there’s a problem.


When you tell your boss about a bad coworker, it’s essential to be professional. Avoid getting emotional and stay calm. 

Be specific about the problems you’re having and offer solutions. If possible, try to get everything in writing. 

This way, you have a record of what your coworker said, and you can refer back to it if needed. 

Finally, be ready for the possibility that your boss may not take action.

 You can always talk to HR or even consider quitting if this happens. Remember, your safety and well-being should always come first.

Last Updated on 6 hours by Shahzaib Arshad


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