Should You Tell Your Boss That You Don’t Like a Colleague?

It’s a tricky situation most of us will come across at some point in our careers.

So how do you handle it?

Do you grit your teeth and shy away from the truth? Or do you call a meeting with your manager and let it all out?

It’s not an easy one to answer when you consider the implications it could have on both you and the colleague you dislike.

To help you decide whether you should go through with it, here’s a little guide.

Is your problem personal or work-related?

It’s very easy to make a snap judgement on a new or existing colleague purely on a feeling or a look they give you.

But in this case, you shouldn’t tell your boss.

Doing so will not only make you look bad in front of your boss, but it’ll raise a number of questions over whether you’re a good cultural fit for the company.

Granted, you’re not always going to see eye to eye with every person you work or come across. However, it’s about recognising this and finding ways to pull yourself away from these situations so you can live a healthy life.

On the other hand, there are cases where a colleague or senior member of staff gives you a sufficient reason to dislike them.

This can include:

  • Not pulling their weight at work
  • Always distracting you and other colleagues
  • Buddying up with management to earn preferential treatment
  • Making bullying or unsavoury comments about other people which offend you

If this sounds like something you’re experiencing with a fellow colleague, it might be worth calling a meeting with your manager and discussing these issues in greater depth.

Tips on how to deal with a colleague you dislike

My first top tip on dealing with a colleague you don’t like is to monitor them before you sit down with your boss.

This method is particularly useful if you think that the said colleague has a special bond with your boss, as they’ll want evidence to prove your accusations.

For instance, this could include writing down any offensive or unfunny jokes they say and explain how it made you feel. If other co-workers feel the same way about this particular member of the team, ask them how they felt about it and write that down as a quote.

Essentially, the more people you get to testify against the bad employee, the more credibility you’ll have when you present it to your boss.

It’s also worth discussing your issues with the actual colleague as a quick conversation could mean that they become more self-aware of what they are doing or saying.

Although, you should refrain from calling them names or telling them how much you don’t like them. Just simply raise the point that you’re not a big fan of something that they do and ask them nicely if they’d mind stopping.

If they don’t change the way they are acting, tell them that you might have to call a meeting with your boss. In this particular scenario, you can then ask the said colleague to attend the meeting with you.

Your manager will then feel more obliged to take action with them in the room and won’t be able to shy away from it.

Just note, this might make you particularly uncomfortable and cause them to take a dislike towards you, so as a safer option, calling a private meeting after or during work with your boss might be a better solution to avoid confrontation.

How to talk to your boss about a colleague you don’t like?

If you do decide to chat to your boss about your unrest with a particular colleague or senior member of staff, you should do so in a professional and careful manner.

Always refrain from making personal comments as this may reflect badly on you. Instead, highlight the issues that you have in regards to completing your job role.

For instance, if you believe they are constantly talking and distracting you, this is a perfectly justifiable reason to flag, as this can have a negative impact on your productivity and the running of the business.

Similarly, if the said employee is bad-mouthing other employees behind their back, this should also be taken very seriously as it’s a form of bullying in the workplace.

However, as much as you’d like to lay it on thick, just stay calm and talk in a professional way. This will enable a boss to take your claim seriously and force them to act upon it.

Pro recruiter top tip

You may find that some bosses will find these type of situations hard to instantly improve or act upon.

So giving them a few ideas of how to do so effectively might come in handy.

Take a look at our previous blog (aimed at employers): ‘6 Ways to Deal With Disruptive Employees’.

Just be careful not to sound like you’re trying to tell them how to do their job.

Summary

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t come across bad colleagues and people that you don’t like.

But unfortunately, there are certain cases where people are toxic to the way you work and the way you feel towards the company.

You should think carefully to distinguish whether your problem with a colleague or senior member of staff is personal or work-related.

If it’s the latter, you’re perfectly within your rights to report these grievances to your boss.

Want to hear further tips on dealing with situations like these? Then don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly blog here.

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