Do you have coworkers who offer you advice – even if you didn’t ask for it or need it? It can sometimes be helpful. But it can also be annoying. Unsolicited and unwanted advice can feel like criticism. You might feel like your coworkers are getting involved because they don’t have confidence in your work or the approach that you’re taking.

So what should you do when you get unwanted advice from a coworker? First, put your pride aside and carefully evaluate what your coworker is saying. Forget about the fact that your coworker might be younger or less experienced than you. It doesn’t matter whether your coworker is a friend – or even friendly. Try to focus on what your coworker is saying and objectively ask yourself, “Is this good advice?” “Would this be an improvement on what I’m currently doing?” If the answer is “yes,” take your coworker’s advice and run with it. But if the answer is “no,” you need to let your coworker know that you’re going to be doing things your way.

But how do you do that nicely? How do you tell your helpful coworker that you’re going to ignore his or her advice? Here are a few things that you could say:

  • “Thanks for your input! But I’d really like to try and work through this on my own.”
  • “I like your suggestion. But I don’t think it’s a good fit for this particular project.”
  • “That’s a good idea, but the client/team/manager wants us to go in a different direction.”
  • “I really appreciate your help, but I already have a plan in mind.”

So remember – try not to get annoyed, be objective, keep an open mind, and (if necessary) let your coworker down easily. Good luck!


Kalish, A. (n.d.). 4 phrases to shut down unsolicited advice from your co-workers. The Muse. Retrieved from: