Gossip is everywhere around us. It is part of the content in newspapers and magazines, from conversations with friends for coffee, irreplaceable part in the hair salon … A gossip does not bypass any workplace. Most people simply can not resist the temptation. Gossip is not always harmful. It can be fun, it can bring colleagues easier together and reduce the tension of the working atmosphere. If the center of gossip are celebrities, it can bring humor into the talks, but if the target is among the colleagues, then things change.
Although the gossip is sometimes useful to come to confidential information about the company or colleagues, the consequences of gossip in the workplace are almost always negative and they kill the reputation and productivity.
Why gossiping appears?
Gossiping in the workplace is one of the most common reasons why people are unhappy at work. Well then, why many continue to do it?
Gossip is a universal human behavior and helps to meet certain needs and desires.
Need to kill boredom. Very often gossip starts of the need to kill the boring work environment. Gossip is always more interesting than the actual events in the company, so people use it to bring entertainment into their daily life.
Desire for power. There are people who always want to be above others, so if there is someone that could jeopardize that position, they cross borders and begin gossiping. Even if there’s no “material”, they just start to invent it. They want to stay first, regardless of the consequences. Gossip gives instantaneous power when the gossiper is spreading the rumors, because everyone wants to be near him and hear more details.
Desire for attention. Regular gossipers have a desire to become the person that will turn all those who want to learn what happens in the workplace or in the lives of colleagues, i.e they always want someone to pay them attention.
Need to be part of the group. For some people the simplest way to fit in the group is to start gossiping. Indeed gossiping helps to achieve closer contacts and networking, but it is not the ideal way of building image in the workplace.
How to avoid gossip?
Gossiping in the workplace brings many negative consequences and it can’t be eliminated, it is impossible, but it should be reduced to a minimum.
Don’t start the gossip. If you want something to change, you should start. There are many reasons to put an end to “transfer” of information:
- Gossip destroys reputation either to the gossiper or the person that is gossiped.
- With the gossip you hurt someone’s feelings.
- If you build your image like gossiper, people will have less confidence in you.
- It can cause conflicts.
- If you gossip, it’s more likely you to be targeted by other gossip.
No matter how tempting the gossiping with your colleagues is, leave it for after business hours and in the company of people who you know well. No matter if you think that your colleagues respect you and that you can have confidence in them, it’s not inevitable that maybe some day you’ll be in for unpleasant “surprise”.
Make sure what you mean. Sometimes even if you don’t plan to gossip, your words may be incorrectly understood. Some people tend to make false events and to spread it further.
Assume that everything you say will be widespread. Very few people can keep secret. Even the best friends can fail you, so what remains to colleagues? Before you open your mouth, consider well what you say, because probably the same conversation will reach to other ears.
Pull out if someone begins gossip in your presence. If distasteful gossip begin early in your presence, find an excuse to distance from the gossiper. Tell him that you need work or that you forgot to do something important.
Learn to not respond to provocations. Keep distance from the people who want in their conversation to initiate gossip. Such individuals often provoke a few sentences and then leave others to take the ball. If you find yourself in that situation, simply say nothing. Leave the gossiper to complete the gossip without you making a comment.
If you find out that you are the target of gossip, face the gossiper. If you find out that someone is spreading rumors about you, do not be afraid to face the one who started, or one who continues to spread. If you do nothing you would only create space for new gossip. It is best just to deal alone with the person who started the gossip, and put him in knowledge that you know everything and that you want correct behavior from him. This conversation must be performed in private.
Some people are ready for everything to get what they want. They know best how to use your words against you. So be careful what and whom you talk to in the workplace.
However, sometimes you should enjoy healthy fun gossip.