No workplace can escape from gossip sessions. Gossiping is a part of human nature and especially in workplace, where there are ego clashes, envy, and competition and up man ship, gossips are natural. Nasty gossiping can spoil the peace and culture of an office. Gossiping about each other leads to distrust, hatred and makes the environment disharmonious, resulting in unprofessionalism and discontent reducing productivity.
If you give importance to your career, and you want to work in a professional and positive environment, then you should keep yourself away from gossiping sessions. It is not easy because if you remain aloof, you might be regarded ‘out of the circle’ and that can alienate you. Hence deal with maturity and diplomacy and you will be safe. Here are a few ways through which you can help reduce workplace gossip and usher in a positive and peaceful working atmosphere:
‘Have you heard’ is the first step, so beware
Usually, workplace gossip starts with a very mysterious question, ‘Have you heard…?’. If someone begins the conversation with this question, then beware, for you are about to hear a gossip about someone. Don’t shut up the person instantly but listen to him or her and smile and walk away. And do not share it with anybody, for it will then start a chain.
Stay away from gossip session and discussions
Even if you are interested in listening to gossips, stay away from it if you value your job and dignity. If you want to please others by listening to what they want to say and if they force you to give your opinion on the matter, then, beware, you are being part of the gossip session. So, avoid such groups as much as you can.
Gossips needn’t be always true
Just because a close colleague is coming to you with a story about someone doesn’t mean it has to be true. Whatever the fact might be, do not allow such gossips to create an opinion about anyone. If the gossip is about any professional change in the office, do not jump into conclusion but wait till you get an official notification.
Change the topic of gossip
If a colleague approaches you with a gossip or any nasty story about office or the staff, listen to him or her and then instead of giving an opinion on the subject, change the topic and enquire about the colleague’s family or children or his work.
Don’t exhibit an attitude of self-righteousness
If you try to be the conscientious person and start reprimanding people about gossiping, then watch out for you will be the next target of their gossips. Just let them know gently and indirectly that you are not interested.
Accept people as they are
This is one of the most important parts that will help reduce workplace gossip. There may be times when you dislike a certain person or some habits of his and you might be tempted to share it with your friend in office. This is how you become the generator of a gossip, albeit unknowingly. Never judge others and refrain from forming opinion about others. Let others be.
Office gossips have never helped anyone, hence never be a part of the gossip creating group for it will only do you harm. Never join even if you are eager to be a part of the ‘team’. Following the above steps will ensure that you are not a part of the gossiping discussions but yet a part of the group. Once your colleagues realize that you are neither showing an interest in the gossips nor are you helping in adding to it, they will stop sharing them with you and may even try to stay away from gossips themselves.