So weisen Sie höflich auf Körpergeruch hin

What to do when a co-worker has a hygiene problem

Was machen Sie, wenn Ihre eine Kollegin Körper- oder Mundgeruch hat? Mithilfe dieser Tipps können Sie sie höflich darauf hinweisen, ohne sie zu verletzen.

Telling a co-worker that they have a body-odour problem or bad  breath is a delicate task. The trick is to be helpful without making a big issue out of it.  


  • Choose a time and place when you will not be disturbed. For example, if you are alone in the office and know nobody will becoming within the next ten minutes.
  • If there’s no chance of privacy, tell the person you’d like to speak with them. Be careful to make this sound casual. “Do you have a couple of minutes this afternoon? There’s something I’d like to discuss with you.”
  • Don’t beat about the bush. “I don’t really know how to say this, but I don’t think your deodorant is working. That sometimes happens. Perhaps you just need to change the brand.”
    “I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it but you seem to have a problem with dental hygiene.”
  • Once the talk is over, consider the subject closed. Don’t refer back to it, unless the situation does not improve.
  • If there is no improvement, you will have to take the colleague aside again. Again, make sure no one can overhear. You can say: “I’m sorry to have to approach the subject again, but did you change your deodorant / go to the dentist / try that new mouthwash? I thought I would have noticed a change, but it doesn’t seem to be much better.”

If the co-worker in question is male, it’s better to get a male colleague to tell him. Likewise, women should talk to other women about personal hygiene problems.


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