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How to Deal with Workplace Gossip

How you deal with workplace gossip is something you consciously and unconsciously do every day at work. Gossip or the “rumor mill” can be trivial or harmful, depending on the topic of discussion.

Learn how to avoid and deal with this type of situation to maintain your personal values, avoid hurting other people, maintain productivity and workplace morale.


6 Steps to Deal with Workplace Gossip

Workplace Gossip

1.Limit your association with the office gossipmonger.

In most cases, this person is looking to get new information to talk about and to perpetuate existing rumors.


2. Tell the person you do not want to hear, participate in or engage in conversations about other people or co-workers.

Once you express your concern, most workplace gossipmongers will leave you alone.


3. Avoid introducing topics that could be considered gossip or lead to it.

Dealing with workplace gossip means you should avoid participating in it. You may not intend to start or participate in the “rumor mill” but it is human nature to talk about other situations and people.


4. Change the topic if you hear or are participating in a conversation about another person.


5. Walk away from the conversation.

If you vocalize your concerns about workplace gossip, most of the time it will stop. However, if this does not happen, walk away from the conversation. This sends a clear verbal and nonverbal cue to your co-workers that you are not interested in participating in conversations that could potentially hurt someone.


6. Remind employees that your office has a policy against spreading gossip and rumors.

Most companies now have this as part of everyone’s employment clause due to the tendency of rumors to get out of control, hurt other people and decrease both morale and productivity.


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