How to Deal With Office Gossip
While most of us are guilty of a little gossiping here and there, office gossip is not a good thing. It can make workers worry about layoffs that never were in the works–or circulate untrue rumors devastating to an employee’s career. Here’s how to deal with office gossip.
4 Steps to Deal With Office Gossip
1. Consider whether the rumor mill needs to come to a grinding halt.
If a gossip or network of gossips are saying cruel or untrue things about a particular employee or are affecting office morale, you should step in. If the gossip is trivial–like about whether the receptionist’s designer purse is real or a knock-off–it’s probably not worth getting involved. Unless, of course, the gossip is a chronic problem.
2. Be direct when the gossip reaches your ears.
If it’s a corporate issue, tell your supervisor immediately and ask for him to clarify the real story so false rumors don’t circulate. Office gossip is less likely to be a problem if employers are open with their employees about upcoming mergers, layoffs and other crucial developments.
3. Discourage malicious, personal gossip.
Tell whoever shared the gossip you think what they said was destructive and inappropriate–and if you still hear it going around, involve human resources or a supervisor. Personal gossip can ruin careers.
4. Cut down on gossip time.
If your direct reports are gossiping, give them more work to do, even if it’s busy work. If it’s your peers in the workplace who won’t stop yammering about things that aren’t their business, ask them lots of work-related questions to distract them.