Noticing when casual conversation becomes gossip, negative or directly hurtful.
Catching up with coworkers isn’t a bad thing but it can turn into a bad thing if the topic, tone, or language used is not polite and respectful.
Being aware when speaking of positions, promotions/demotions, and policy and about the company. All of this talk could hurt you or the company in the long run.
Coworkers can be your friends, but they can also desire the job position you or someone you know it in. Be careful speaking negatively about people that may need to support you later.
Remembering that gossip is harmful in any setting and can have a strong negative impact on the work environment and those within it. People may lose trust, miscommunicate, argue, and decrease in functionality and focus throughout the workday.
- Just don’t gossip at all. This may seem trivial but if the door is never opened then there is no question on who said what, when. There is no argument if you stand beside the idea of no gossiping in the workplace period.
- Allowing others to know where you stand.Literally and figuratively, if those around you know you do not allow any form of gossip out of your mouth, it shouldn’t be entering your ears either. Now we can’t stop everyone, but knowing when to step out of the room and separate yourself from those that participate in gossip is a helpful step
- Top down enforcement, if your boss is making notice of this issue and stating their stance on it, it may be easier to enforce among the office.
Another angle on the topic of gossip is the evolutionary skill of coworker’s gossip and that it is only harmful when it is done incorrectly. But when done the correct way enforce trust and efficiency within the workplace.
Jen Hoskins-Tomko: “An important thing to remember is we really cannot stop the act of gossip throughout a workplace, so eventually we must learn to accept that people are gossiping. Being able to separate the subject of gossip is another key point in workplace gossip. If we are just gossiping about personal things, these things should remain quiet and disclosed. But professional things should be discussed upfront and allowed to better the workspace and functioning of the company. Also making sure we are not masking gossip with false concern. This is destructive to the environment and doesn’t help anyone in the long run”
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