By setting good policies gossip can be eradicated from the workplace.
Careers advice, Office Life

How to handle malicious gossip in the workplace

By setting good policies gossip can be eradicated from the workplace.

Remember the Turkish proverb ‘Who gossips to you, will gossip about you’? Well, if this is the case, especially in your workplace, things can sometimes become unpleasant and difficult to manage.

Passing from an innocent chitchat to malicious gossip

During a conversation at work you can sense when the initial chitchat becomes negative and inflammatory. Sometimes, the line is very subtle, and you do not immediately realize whether you’re just having a harmless conversation or if you’ve just ventured into the gossip world.

Here are some tips that will allow you to recognize the difference:

  • Does the chitchat rejoice in the misfortune of others?
  • Does it have a negative emotional charge or seem to perpetuate conflict or negativity?
  • Does it hurt or damage the one being spoken of? Would you say it in front of this person’s face?
  • Is it an unsubstantiated rumour about another employee’s work situation (a promotion or demotion)?

The main consequence of gossip in the workplace is that it can ruin a company’s morale and productivity, becoming a real waste of time for everybody.

How to eradicate gossip:

A working environment where gossip reigns can become a very toxic and emotionally challenging one, but there are ways of eradicating it:

  • Set an example
  • Set policies on workplace gossip
  • Address perpetrators
  • Encourage positive gossip
  • Ignore the gossiper
  • Turn it back on the gossiper with a positive thing to say
  • Keep your private life private
  • Choose your friends wisely at work
  • Observe before launching yourself into office politics

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