When you encounter the case of someone continually causing problems in your making progress in your work, in which cases do you address this with that person talking to them directly and when discuss about the issue with our manager?

I have the case of a highly emotional person that would be impossible to discuss directly to him, and I was wondering if in general it is better to talk to my manager anyway?

  • @JoeStrazzere:I was wondering if it shows better character to try with them first before going to management. What if manager asks if I tried talking to them first?
    – smith
    Aug 19, 2017 at 21:11
  • @JoeStrazzere: wait why their manager? I was hinting at my manager. Why would I talk to their manager?
    – smith
    Aug 19, 2017 at 21:23
  • @JoeStrazzere: haven't thought of it like that to be honest. I just thought that I don't know their manager at all. Would be weird showing up just to complain.
    – smith
    Aug 19, 2017 at 22:06
  • @JoeStrazzere: also in general even if I knew them I would not go. Because I would expect their manager to defend the team member
    – smith
    Aug 19, 2017 at 22:15
  • @JoeStrazzere: won't they spend more time defending?
    – smith
    Aug 19, 2017 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


If unsure, consult your manager for advice on handling the situation.

Depending entirely on the nature of the issue, there may be another angle you're unaware of. While there should never be any excuses for somebody's unprofessional behaviour in the workplace, there may be additional sensitivities that could affect the tone, language and timing in your overall approach to the person.

For example, the person may be struggling with some personal and private issues; alternatively, there may be things going on in the workplace involving this person which may not be public knowledge. Just in case there's something you are unaware of, somebody at a management level is more likely to understand the bigger picture.

In some cases, addressing the issue directly with the person may be appropriate, and you certainly can suggest this in your approach to the manager, For example:

"I'm having issues with [X] which is having an adverse effect on me at work. I have been thinking of raising this with them directly but feel that s/he seems to be very emotional at times. I do not wish to accidentally say the wrong thing to her/him and inflame the situation or create a bad atmosphere, could you suggest a course of action?"

You may find out that you are not the first person to have raised the issue; your manager may ask you to approach them, but most managers I've worked with would probably deal with the issue themselves. It is entirely possible that the manager is already aware and has already spoken to them about it before, or they may be completely unaware, in which case there is no harm in talking about it.

In any case, the professional way to approach this is to talk about the issue to your manager - part of a manager's role is to be available to talk to when issues arise between personnel, and to intervene when necessary.

  • I was wondering if the professional approach in general is first talk to the person before going higher.
    – smith
    Aug 20, 2017 at 19:51
  • @smith In most cases, you are accountable to your employer whenever you're 'on duty' or otherwise in and around the workplace - so this isn't a simple matter of a personal grievance between two private individuals because you've mentioned this affects your work, which means by extension that it affects your manager/employer too (your manager is presumably responsible for overseeing all of your work). So from a professional perspective, you should at the very least make your manager aware of the issue, although you could certainly tell your manager that you'd prefer to handle it personally Aug 20, 2017 at 21:38

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