What to Say When: A Co-Worker Has an Embarrassing Problem

What do you say when your coworker has bad breath or has body odor and it is affecting your ability to work? These kind of issues can be awkward to bring up, and are probably embarrassing to the person having the problem. In this specific course, there are tips on how to approach a coworker about a problem that may be embarrassing.  The video demonstrates an example of a coworker with bad breath, and how to address it without damaging the relationship. Pulling them aside and addressing it without being aggressive and direct is important. 

This course is part of the What To Say When series on workplace communication. Use the courses in this series to help solve specific workplace issues, whether you are a manager remediating a situation or an individual trying to deal with a problem. These short vignettes present common communication dilemmas in the workplace. Human Resource expert Hugh Murray shares communication strategies and tactics for navigating these situations.


Each vignette features narrative examples for employees to see the wrong and right way to handle a problem, and ends with a short assessment to measure learner comprehension. Each course also includes a leader guide and a downloadable “key points” document to help you remember the communication strategy. These courses make for great training on their own, or used as a series.