How to Deal With Gossip at Work
Office politics can be a minefield that takes a lot of effort to navigate. A significant part of this minefield is office gossip. This destructive phenomenon can create distrust and even anger among colleagues, and it can sew discord with management.
Learning how to deal with gossip in your office may cause some co-workers to dislike you. However, you will earn respect in the eyes of more professional co-workers and bosses.
3 Steps to Deal With Gossip at Work
1. Ignore the gossip, if you do not wish to be part of it.
When someone in the office begins gossiping, either turn your focus to your work or leave the area. Eventually, your co-workers will get the idea that you are not interested.
2. Confront the gossiping employees.
If a gossiper begins to spread rumors, ask for specifics and keep pressing her to make sure that the comments are true. Ask her to clarify her statements. The gossiper will soon tire of gossiping with you, because you make it too difficult to spread half-truths.
3. Tell your co-workers clearly that you are not interested in office gossip.
If someone has information that will help you do your job, you are all ears, but you are not interested in your co-worker’s personal business. This stand will endear you to others who feel the same way, but this position may alienate you from the gossipers.
You will still need to work with the gossiping co-workers; so, state clearly that your lack of tolerance for gossiping will not affect your ability to work as part of the team, when necessary.
Tips & Warnings
A thought to remember: when people gossip it’s because they can’t deal with negative issues in their own lives, and it’s easier for them to criticize others than to face their own situation.