Summary: Gossip causes nothing but damage to work relationships. When the rumors do starting flying, knowing how to react will allow them to be stopped effortlessly.
Just because we are out of high school doesn’t mean the gossip stops. Our workplaces can seem like a recreation of the old days with rumors flying like a game of telephone. These rumors can be about a company decision, your boss, your co-workers, or even yourself that build quickly, creating a poisonous environment.
- Treat false stories with laughter – When you know the rumors that co-workers are chatting about, make light of it with laughter while making it clear that the gossip is false. Laughter will make it clear that they were foolish for believing something so ridiculous was true.
- Keep confrontations down – Don’t make the person spreading the gossip about you go on the defensive by confronting them in an aggressive way. Nicely talk to the person to correct the misconception. After clearing things up, don’t hold a grudge.
- Ask for help – Make the people spreading the rumors your allies by asking for their help to correct the gossip.
- Enforce a gossip-free workplace – When you are in positions of management, make it clear to your team that gossip is not allowed. Keep open and honest communication in your department to show your team what is valued. Remind your team and colleagues that gossip is a waste of time to encourage them to have the same philosophy.
- Be open in communications – Be an example and practice what you preach. If you start spreading rumors, they will get the idea that it is okay for them to as well. When you treat relationships at work with openness, your team will be open in return.
When there continues to be one person that won’t stop spreading rumors about you or others and talking to them doesn’t help, then you may have to resort to more drastic measures by discussing the issue with a supervisor. Remember to always keep the conversation respectful and professional.
Photo: adigaskell.orgGossip in the Workplace Does Nothing but Damage by Amanda Griffin