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Filing complaints about co-workers can be a complicated and difficult task within the workplace, especially if you are cordial or friends with the colleague. However, certain complaints are hard to be ignored and need to be handled correctly and tactfully.

Making this process painless can be a hard feat to accomplish. Below are some tips to help you avoid confrontation with co-workers and to help make the situation as free of drama as possible.

  • If the complaint is minor, you can try approaching the co-worker directly before going to someone above them – this avoids getting them into trouble. However, if you feel that your colleague is confrontational, then approach a manager first.
  • If you have to go directly to your boss instead of your co-worker, try not to come across as a complainer. Be tactful and straight to the point with your complaint.
  • If approaching a colleague face-to-face, use “I” statements in order to focus on the problem you are having instead of what is wrong your co-worker. Instead of saying, “You are really getting in the way of my work talking to me all the time,” try saying, “I am having a hard time completing my work on time, so I’m going to have to limit our conversations to break time.”
  • If the colleague is an issue collectively to the entire group, once again make the focus on the issue the group is having instead of focusing on the faults of your co-worker with “we” statements.
  • Before going to your manager, insure that the issue is a business problem and not a personal one. Although colleagues can have the tendency to annoy us from time to time, sometimes it is important to change our attitude and deal with the issue ourselves. If your manager views the issue as a personal conflict, it could end up reflecting poorly on you instead of your co-worker.

It is important to remember that complaints are not always going to be the answer. However, if they are necessary try to remember to be tactful in the process by using the above tips.