11 Ways to Say Someone Is Unprofessional

Do you want to know ways to say someone is unprofessional?

Perhaps you want to minimize how offensive you sound when calling someone out.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place if you’re trying to watch your tone!

This article will teach you how to call someone “unprofessional” professionally (without making things too confusing, of course!)

It’s worth reviewing the following alternatives to learn how to tell someone to be professional:

  • You are inappropriate
  • Your behavior is unacceptable
  • You need more professionalism
  • Your conduct is undignified
  • You are behaving poorly
  • Your actions are not in line with our standards
  • You’re not being very businesslike
  • Your behavior is improper
  • Your actions are unrefined
  • You’re being unseemly
  • Stop being inconsiderate

Keep reading to learn how to say someone is unprofessional. We’ll explain more regarding the synonyms mentioned above and how they can fit into different contexts.

1. You Are Inappropriate

You should start by using “you are inappropriate.” It’s a short and sweet choice that gets to the point and suggests someone is being inappropriate or unprofessional.

For the most part, you can use this when talking to a coworker.

It’s a good chance for you to let them know they should try to improve their behavior.

Sometimes, people don’t realize they’re being inappropriate until they’re called out. So, this is a respectful way to approach the situation in person.

Check out these examples to learn how to say someone is unprofessional:

You are inappropriate. You should really work on this to ensure it doesn’t come across during the meeting.

It’s clear you are inappropriate and need a bit of help with your professionalism. I’m happy to assist you!

2. Your Behavior Is Unacceptable

Next, you can use “your behavior is unacceptable.”

This is a blunt yet effective way to tell someone they need to be more professional.

Often, this works best in an email to an employee. It’s going to be most practical if you’re writing from a position of power and want to let someone know they need to work on their tone.

For the most part, it’s direct and respectful. Sure, it might upset the employee, but it’s still a good chance for you to work on their professionalism.

Also, you can review this email sample to learn more:

Dear Harrison,

Your behavior is unacceptable and must be corrected before you meet the client.

Are you interested in coming to a meeting about it?

All the best,
Suzie Clarke

3. You Need More Professionalism

Are you still trying to figure out how to say someone is unprofessional? Try a more positive phrase like “you need more professionalism.”

Technically, this is synonymous with a negative phrase like “you have no professionalism.”

Rather than referring to what someone lacks, it’s better to use this phrase to refer to what they should try to improve.

It’s good to use when contacting a coworker.

Check out this email sample to learn a bit more about it:

Dear Zoe,

You need more professionalism before we can continue.

I want you to be on the same page as me when working with these clients.

All the best,
John Ford

4. Your Conduct Is Undignified

You can tell an employee they are unprofessional by saying “your conduct is undignified.”

This is a professional and direct way to show that you’re not impressed with the way someone’s carrying themselves.

It works well in a business email when you’ve had enough of someone’s unprofessionalism. For the most part, employees will feel more inclined to accept your wishes and work on themselves.

Also, check out the following email example to learn more:

Dear Haley,

Your conduct is undignified at this moment in time.

Please do what you can to work on that before we move on.

All the best,
Jonathan Wells

5. You Are Behaving Poorly

Next, you can politely tell someone to be more professional by saying “you are behaving poorly.”

This will allow you to address unprofessional behavior in person.

You might benefit from using this when meeting with an employee. If you’ve already arranged a meeting to discuss their conduct, this could be a helpful way to get your view across.

If you’re still unsure how to use it, refer to these examples:

You are behaving poorly at the moment, and I need that to change. I can’t let you meet with the customers until I see positive change.

You are behaving poorly. I can understand why, but I’ll need you to work on that before we continue.

6. Your Actions Are Not In Line With Our Standards

You might also benefit from writing “your actions are not in line with our standards.”

This is a professional and clear way to tell someone they’re being unprofessional.

Referring to “our standards” suggests that there are specific rules for conduct in your workplace. Therefore, this can work well when writing to a new recruit who needs more time to grow.

Also, you can review this email sample to learn a bit more:

Dear Christina,

Your actions are not in line with our standards.

I appreciate that you’re new here, but please review the attached file to understand what we expect.

Thank you so much,
Craig Robinson

7. You’re Not Being Very Businesslike

Next, you might want to use “you’re not being very businesslike.” This often helps you to address unprofessional communication between coworkers.

It might be worth using this in person when discussing behavior with a coworker.

If you’re working on the same project, it’s good to try to get them to focus more. Therefore, a phrase like this is encouraging and sincere, showing that you’d appreciate it if they could change.

Here are some great examples to show you a bit more about it:

You’re not being very businesslike, and I’m worried how that will come across. Do you think you can work on that?

I’m afraid you’re not being very businesslike. You’ve got to clean up your act before we move forward!

8. Your Behavior Is Improper

If you don’t know how to say someone is unprofessional in an email, look no further. You can’t go wrong with “your behavior is improper.”

Of course, this is a formal and respectful way to show that someone needs to work on their professionalism.

“Improper” implies there’s a “proper” way to do things. This works best in more refined situations when there are certain rules people must follow to look as respectful as they can.

Use this when writing to a student. If they are preparing to sit in front of a board of directors to pitch an idea, a phrase like this might be what they need to show that they have to try harder.

Check out the following example to learn a bit more about it:

Dear Julia,

I’m afraid your behavior is improper.

There are certain etiquette rules you must follow to fit in with the board.

All the best,
Mr. Martens

9. Your Actions Are Unrefined

You can also call someone’s unprofessionalism out by saying “your actions are unrefined.”

Generally, this is effective when writing to an employee. It shows that you’re not happy with their professional ability, and you need them to try harder.

It’s straightforward and to the point. So, an employee won’t be confused about what you mean when using something like this.

You may also review this email sample to learn a bit more about it:

Dear Mitchell,

Your actions are unrefined for a place like this.

I’m going to sit you down to show you more about what’s expected next week.

Best wishes,
Sarah Kale

10. You’re Being Unseemly

You may also use “you’re being unseemly.” Generally, this synonym works best in person when you’d like to call someone out for being unprofessional or inconsiderate.

Feel free to use this when discussing with a coworker. It shows you’re not happy with their conduct, as you think it’s a poor reflection on you and your own professionalism.

For instance, if you’re presenting a project with them, you might need them to be more professional. This phrase can work well to whip them into shape.

Also, you can check out these examples to learn a bit more:

You’re being unseemly right now, Arthur. I’m going to need you to focus a little bit more before we continue.

You’re being unseemly, and I can’t handle that. Please try a little bit harder to seem more professional.

11. Stop Being Inconsiderate

Another great phrase to use in person is “stop being inconsiderate.”

This time, you can use it when speaking with a family member.

Let’s say you’re going to a family gathering or special occasion. However, one of your children is acting out, or their conduct isn’t matching the tone of the event.

While family events aren’t often “professional,” there are still certain expectations. Therefore, you can use this to ensure that someone is being “considerate” of the tone of an event.

Finally, review these examples to learn a bit more:

Stop being inconsiderate when your family is over. It’s not fair, and I’d like you to try a little harder.

Please stop being inconsiderate. I know you’re bored, but we’re all trying to make this more exciting for you.