What’s wrong with a little chit-chat to break up the work day? Nothing really – unless it’s gossip.
What exactly is gossip? It’s talk that’s harmful, damaging or embarrassing to someone. It can lead to conflict or negativity.
Bottom line: If you’re saying something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to his or her face, chances are it’s gossip.
Gossip anywhere – but especially in the office—can weaken team morale and respect. It can create cliques, suspicion and uneasy relationships. In a world, it divides rather than unites.
Here are some 5 tips to help avoid office gossip:
- Stay busy. People who gossip want attention. If you’re busy, they can’t gossip with you.
- Avoid the gossips. You know who they are. Try to avoid them. Just hanging around with them may give others the impression that you’re a gossip too.
- Don’t even listen. Gossip requires speakers and listeners. If you don’t want to be part of gossip, walk away when the gossip and negativity begin.
- Say something positive. If lunch or coffee break chat turns to gossip, try to shift the conversation to another topic. Or, gather your confidence and say you don’t want to gossip about someone else.
- Talk to your supervisor. When people spend time gossiping, they’re hurting the workplace and wasting time. See your supervisor for a confidential talk if you think gossip is a factor at your job.