One of the biggest causes for a negative or less productive work environment is gossip. Gossiping at the workplace can have a very bad effect on the workers and on the organization as a whole. It can create a very uncomfortable atmosphere for everyone. While some of the gossip does have truth in it, most of them are filled with false and misleading information. Either ways it is better to stay out of it and maintain a good work environment. Gossip really ruins work relationships, the more we keep out of it; the better for us.
Finding out the exact source of gossip can be one of the best steps in eliminating workplace gossip. When some colleague of yours tries to gossip do find out what kind of a person he is and what are his intentions behind spreading such news. Does he have any personal motive behind spreading this information? These are a few things that we need to keep in mind when we hear gossip from others. We need to understand that there is no real benefit that will come from gossip and its main reason is to degrade and take pleasure in negative information about others.
You need to be careful and calculative about the information that you share with your co- workers. It is not necessary that you share all information with everyone you know. Keeping a few things to yourself is also very important. Some things are better unsaid and we need to be judgmental about what information needs to be shared and what need not be. You may think what you are sharing is harmless to you and others, while someone else might try to twist it in ways which are beneficial to them and this might bring trouble either to you or to any of your other colleagues.
Try not to be a part of the office gossip. Limit your association with the people who gossip. By not being associated with a person who tends to spread gossip, you will have lesser chances of being included as the original source of the gossip.
Let the gossip end with you. When someone comes and gossips to you avoid passing it on. By doing this you are getting rid of the problems that could have come because of spreading it. You are indirectly doing a good thing by putting an end to the gossip by saving the people who could have been harmed if the gossip has spread. The chances of harmful damage due to gossip will be reduced to a least minimal if you don’t spread it.
Keep at bay from situations where gossip is being formulated. This will help in not giving power to the source of gossip by extinguishing the spread of information that may have little or no truth.
Diverting the topic would be one of the best and easiest ways to avoid office gossip. A quick way to stop gossip in its track is to change the topic of discussion.
Confront the person who is gossiping. Ask him/her why he/she believes this information should be spread around the office and what personal gain would they derive from it.
One of the best ways to defend against gossip is to have a strong opposition in not tolerating the action of gossip. Let the gossiper know that you are not comfortable discussing the information that they are spreading.
Remind people that workplace gossip comes with consequences that can include them being fired by the higher-ups if they are found to be the source of gossip. Almost all companies have several laid out policies stating strict disciplinary action against the ones who gossip.
Teach by example. Don’t involve in gossip yourself. When you choose not to gossip or participate in gossiping, you send a clear message to others that it is a negative attribute at the workplace.