7 Steps of Effectively Dealing with Office Gossip
In every working environment, it is a human tendency for people to group themselves based on likes and dislikes. In addition, there will always be a group of people who seem to know more about everything and everyone. This group is likely to be the perpetrators of gossip.
Gossip is part of communication and very much alive in every workplace. Gossip comes in many forms and spreads very quickly especially with the help of technology. Gossip grapevine can be helpful at times but when it turns to attacking individuals then it becomes detrimental.
When the rumors around the office get out of hand, here are a few things you can do to take charge of the situation:
1. Get to the bottom of it
Do not be quick to form conclusions or attack the rumor mongers. Take time to understand whether the word doing rounds is actual gossip or simply a discussion.
2. Do not take it personally
Gossip can be quite damaging to both your social and professional life. However, how you react to the rumors and hearsay may be more damaging. Do not get tangled in the gossip web and start second guessing yourself. Take it at face value and focus on what matters to you.
3. Think about it
Before taking any action you need to sit and reflect on what you read or heard. Understand the context and nature of the gossip. Analyze the impact and get all you facts right then you can take action.
4. Approach the Instigator
Every gossip has a source, go directly to the source and express your disappointment. Make sure you do not attack them but give them a chance to explain themselves.
5. Maintain your cool and be professional
Talk it out and have them understand the impact of their behavior on you as well as the whole team. Help them understand that their behavior is inappropriate at the work place.
Depending on the position that you hold in the workplace, you could either report the incident to your superiors or simply take disciplinary action. In the event that, you are in a leadership position, ensure that you have a policy against personal gossip.
7. Do not take part in gossip
To effective deal with gossip, you need to stay completely clear of it. Gossip is like a web and once you get in you become hooked.