In our last post, we discussed a very important topic.
How to deal with gossip at work
Office gossip is so common that it is considered one of the primary problems people face at their workplace. Even if you are part of it or not, gossip at work doesn’t spare you.
You have two options; either you become a part of it or you discourage it. Whatever you do, keep in mind that it will directly or indirectly impact your relationship with your coworkers.
As an individual who wishes to work in a positive and productive environment, you should find ways to deal with gossip at work. We have a few suggestions that you might want to consider.
- Not Every Workplace Discussion is a Gossip
You need to know when a discussion amongst coworkers is a gossip and when it is not. A gossip usually involves topics related to any one of your colleagues’ personal life.
It usually is just a rumor that spreads like fire. The one who is gossiping will be secretive about it and will pretend as if he or she is discussing something very confidential.
A gossip involves undermining others. It is a way through which a gossiper gains attention from others and tries to lessen the credibility of the individual about whom he or she is gossiping.
A discussion on the other hand is typically of constructive form. It will be a debate on the policies or any other new projects introduced by the superiors and how the colleagues can deal with the issues.
You do not have to spare yourself from such a discussion as it will give you better insight about how others feel about the task assigned and the approach of the superiors as well.
You must stay away from gossips and unwanted rumors that are being spread by gossipers. These will disrupt your work environment and will impact your productivity as well.
- Do not take Work Gossips seriously
If you hear a rumor about yourself or you overhear two of your colleagues talking about you, you don’t always have to react and take it to your heart.
Work gossips mostly arise out of jealousy and competition. Most of these are not based on facts and are just a way to disrupt the way you work.
So if you are a star performer who works hard and receives due appreciation from the managers, there is no need to pay attention to such baseless talks.
- Analyze the content of work gossip
So you just couldn’t avoid becoming a part of a hot gossip circling around in the office? Don’t worry your task as a good worker should be to analyze the content of the gossip.
This means that you should try to equip yourself with facts. For this you should have to be inquisitive; ask questions and collect information from the relevant sources.
Don’t just go all out, observe the gossiper, check their credibility and whether or not the information they have is to be trusted or taken as a fact.
- Reach out to a gossiper
A good way to understand the beginning, the sources and credibility of a gossip, you can confront one of the gossipers. Ask them what and why they are doing this.
You do not have to be rude or mean or simply ask them to shut up without knowing their side of the story. This will only cause more confusion and trouble. This might give rise to a gossip based on your anger.
You should give a soft reminder to the gossiper that their gossip is causing disruption in the workplace and that it is also impacting the productivity of the workers.
Try to show that you are genuinely concerned about the issue and that you will do anything within your limits to get the facts.
When you state the truth only and are adamant about knowing it, this will make the gossiper think that they cannot lie to you so they should not continue with telling you a made up story or wasting your time.
If a gossiper does not have any proof regarding whatever he is gossiping about, ensure that you politely tell them to not gossip anymore and to not do such a thing in the future as well.
- Keep in touch with your team
Sometimes lack of communication amongst members gives rise of work gossip. You can solve this issue by organizing meetings and get together with your team members and colleagues.
This ensures that each individual in your team is kept in the loop and has information and updates about the latest developments in the workplace.
Many gossips can be avoided if colleagues sit together time after time, share their concerns, ask questions and work in a stress free environment.
If an important announcement is due, you as a leader can do it on time without delaying in order to avoid extra tension and unwanted work gossip.
- Approach the managers
You need to approach the relevant authorities if you are unable to tackle gossip issues on your own. You should tell them your concerns and play a constructive role.
You should encourage the managers to take work gossip seriously and make sure that they discourage anyone who does it. You might also advise them to make a policy for this purpose.
Giving strong punishments to gossipers can be one way to deal with such individuals. This will also provide a lesson to others as well.
- Say Yes to Positive Work Gossip
Not all gossip is bad for you and your relationships with others. Positive work gossips can be constructive and efficient as well.
At times it can improve the productivity of the workers. If an organization is making use of the latest techniques to get their task done quickly, positive gossip can be used to introduce these techniques in your organization as well.
If you get to know that a certain colleague will receive a promotion if he works in a specific way. Spreading such gossip can help that individual in securing a promotion.
We hope that our tips on how to deal with gossip at work proved useful and that you will adopt them in order to get rid of any negative work gossips floating around in your office.