Gossip is something people have to deal with wherever they work. Humans are social creatures, and we love to talk about other people. Some management authorities say that gossip needs to be eradicated completely from the workplace because it is detrimental to employee morale and productivity. Others, however, are more realistic, believing that it is almost impossible to wipe gossip out completely, and advocating rather for keeping it under control.
Here are some ways that you can keep gossip from spreading.
1. Be a role model
You can set an example for other people in the office by refusing to gossip yourself. If someone else tries to spread gossip with you, tell them you are not interested in listening, walk away or talk about something else. This sends a strong message.
2. Tell the supervisor
This takes some courage, but if you feel that gossip is getting out of hand, you can go to your supervisor and tell him or her about it and have management address the problem.
3. Talk to the people doing the gossiping
Again, this takes some assertiveness, but you can talk privately to the person spreading the gossip, letting the person know in a professional and tactful way how his or her talk is disrupting the work environment.
4. Spread good news
Gossip is such a problem because it is negative, sharing information about other persons that should remain private and that may do harm to their reputation. As an antidote to this, try spreading some good news about people and the company instead. Talk about how someone was promoted, or finished an important project or how the company is reaching its goals.
5. Ignore the gossip
If you are busy with work – and you should be – you can simply tell the person who wants to share some salacious tidbits that you are just too busy to talk.
6. Keep it to yourself
Don’t talk about your private life at work. If you do, make sure you can completely trust the person in whom you are confiding. If you see a certain person spreading gossip, you can be sure he or she will be talking about you to other people if you are foolish enough to confide in him.
And if someone should share gossip with you, something you know should not be repeated, keep it to yourself.