No matter how many times I hear someone speak with a rude tone to somebody else in the workplace, I still just don’t understand how they think that they can treat someone like that. Over the years I have personally witnessed many people speak in a tone that would otherwise be completely unacceptable in most other social situations. The use of profanity, derogatory words, and other demeaning behavior is absolutely unacceptable in the workplace. Now don’t get me wrong, at times it is important to use a strong tone of voice and forceful, impactful words to let people know where you stand. But being rude to people in the workplace is absolutely not ok. When I do hear rude language in work conversations, all I want to do is turn to that person and say “don’t talk to them like that”. Or, I want to say “don’t talk to me like that”.
When you want to tell somebody to not be rude to you, how do you go about doing it? What’s the best way to communicate back to that person that’s the way they are treating you is not OK?
Here are a few ways that I recommend to handle that type of a conversation:
1. Keep cool. As much as you want to lash back, don’t freak out and yell at them too.
2. Calmly request them to stop. Take a deep breath and as calmly as you can, ask them to stop using the profane language.
3. Change the tone of your voice. Simply lowering your voice and talking a little softer usually gets the offender to realize they’ve crossed the line.
In the end, people can do and say what they want… You, also, have the choice of how to respond.