Office gossip: How can you avoid it?

You’ve heard it through the grapevine, but is your office really the place for gossip?  

It’s time to stop the rumor mill so everyone can focus on the work that needs to be done. There’s nothing worse than gossip to break apart a team, damage a career, and create negative energy.  Here’s some ways for you to avoid it.

Zip it.

If you have nothing nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all. You are doing great work and you don’t need to promote yourself by bad mouthing someone else.  What will you gain by spreading rumors that may or may not be true? You will lose credibility as well as respect. Act with integrity, practice restraint and keep your opinions to yourself.

Focus on the solution.

Gossip might be caused by someone failing to complete a task.  By complaining about the person, you are not looking for a solution to the problem.  You are just wasting time, creating resentment, and avoiding the real issue. Remember your responsibilities to the success of the company and pursue an answer to the dilemma.  Your manager will be sure to appreciate how you handled the event.

A story has 2 sides.

Keep in mind that whatever you’ve heard has another side.  Get all the facts before you pass judgement. Is there a way to research the information that you received?  Wait for a formal announcement from management before you spread rumors about negative issues in the company.  

Be positive.

Turn the tables on the gossiper and say something positive.  Being complimentary will change the situation and prevent further spread of the rumor.  Listen and find out what is really behind the grievance. Dig deep and see if you can’t solve the real concern.  

You are in an office and it doesn’t really matter “who started it”.  It’s your job to take the high road, stop the rumor mill and refuse to be drawn in to a negative environment.  Be professional and focus on your work – with the company’s best interests in mind. Stop the gossip in its tracks.

How do you avoid workplace gossip?

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