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3 tips for talking to managers about harassment

When you go to work, you want to earn a living and utilize your professional talents. The last thing you want is to be subjected to inappropriate behavior at the hands of your colleagues. Unfortunately, though, harassment in the workplace is a common problem. It may be because of your race, gender identity, sexual orientation or nothing at all. Regardless of the context, you need to take action.

Employers should provide staff with resources to address harassment with management, but it is still never easy to stand up for yourself against people who treat you poorly. The following are three tips for initiating an effective conversation with management about the treatment you are experiencing.

1. Provide details

The first criteria to remember is the importance of specific details when you are talking to your manager about harassment. Do your best to take down exact quotes or draft an explicit description of the actions in question. Accompany this with details about the date, time and location of the incident, too. This is far more impactful than a general complaint of harassment without any specific examples.

2. Avoid confrontation

You should also be careful to avoid confrontation when you are addressing the problem. It can be easy to get riled up about a colleague treating you inappropriately, but you should present the information to management as objectively as possible. This helps to protect your credibility and establishes the fact that you have made the complaint based on professional concern.

3. Request action

Lastly, it is vital that you be explicit in your request for action. It should be obvious to an employer that management must do something, but to be clear, you should indicate this, too. You may suggest that the employer move the co-worker in question to a different location. Suspension or retraining may also be an option. In cases where your employer neglects to take any action and allows the harassment to continue, you may consider seeking additional legal recourse.