6 steps to Stop Office Gossip

6 steps to Stop Office Gossip

1. Understand what office Gossip is. There is a big difference between friendly office chit-chat and gossip. Understanding the difference is imperative.
Difference: Friendly office chit-chat does not pick someone apart, but merely references general information about them in a supportive manner. With friendly banter, the speaker is not trying to either backstab, insult, humiliate, or demean someone.

Gossip: “Look at me” is typically what gossip is all about. Gossip brings attention to the person who is speaking. The speaker will typically have a confident tone when speaking porrly about someones personality, credibility or apperance. Often times you are told more personal details than you care to know and is typically done with exaggeration, self inflation or a “better than you are” mentality.

2. Dont take gossip personally. Instead treat it as it is, simply gossip. It is deliberately filled with hate, nonsense, innuendo, rumors and errors. Do not act in defense towards it, though the problem does need to be dealt with immediately. Try to focus on approaching gossip on a professional level rather than taking any kind of offense.

3. Get the facts. You need to find out if there is truth in anything that has been said about the person. Sometimes there is a seed of truth that ends up growing into a lie. To do this, sit down with the victim of the gossip and ask them straight up what is true and is not. Be careful not to be offensive or to phrase the question as if you believe the statements against the person.

4. Assess the context and find out what type of gossip your dealing with. Is it personal gossip? Is it gossip out work performance? Is it widespread or grape-vined?

5. Address this with speed, honesty and support. In times of rapid change, or decline in economy or company, gossip will increase. This is due to fear, which heightens insecurity. If you are in operations, or are a manager or owner, be the one to reassure people. If you dont know something, tell them that you will find out. This will lessen how much gossip is done.

6. Speak to a gossiper directly. Ask the person what is really bothering them and listen to them. You also need to be very clear that office gossip must stop, but go futher to explain how it can affect other people, as well as affecting their own reputation in other peoples eyes.

In order to stop any form of office gossip you need to make sure that you never feed it. Take care of the gossip immediately, and make it a company policy that it wont be tolerated.