Gossip in the Workplace

Gossip needn’t be false to be evil—there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.

Frank A. Clark

Water cooler chats are part and parcel of the modern workplace. But when the talk turns from, “Can you believe what happened on ‘Scandal’ last night?” to “Can you believe what James is up to? What a scandal!” the repercussions can range far and wide. Gossip is a destructive force, whether it’s someone simply passing along a relatively minor unsubstantiated rumor or an orchestrated effort to undermine a co-worker’s reputation.

Gossip can be defined as casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true. As noted above, however, even truthful information passed around inappropriately – when it’s “nobody’s business” – can have a negative impact. In the workplace, gossip represents a genuine threat to productivity and a business’s bottom line. It creates division and mistrust, ruins relationships, and undermines authority and respect. It can literally be a liability, and at its worst, it can ruin reputations, careers, and corporations. A gossipy workplace is a negative workplace that fosters paranoia (“What are they saying about me?”) and does not encourage longevity. Employee turnover is expensive!

Think Before Gossiping

When we gossip to someone, we leave the message that we would gossip about the person we are gossiping to. It breaks trust in that way also.  Ask yourself, “Why am I saying this?” If there is no beneficial reason, don’t say it!

While certain conversations clearly fall into the category of destructive gossip, it can be difficult to determine when a conversation between co-workers crosses the line. Here are a few questions people should ask themselves before continuing in a conversation:

  • Would I say this to his/her face?
  • Does this relate specifically to work and/or their job?
  • Is there a negative undertone? Does this feed into conflict?
  • Does this build up or tear down the person being spoken of?
  • Would I want someone repeating this about me?

Handling Gossip at Work

Although the tendency to gossip is common, there are effective ways to shut down the negative dynamic of gossip in the workplace:

  • Whether you’re an employee, a manager or a business owner, set a good example. Never engage in gossip; walk away, inform the person speaking you’re not comfortable with the conversation, or, better yet, state in no uncertain terms that the subject is inappropriate for the workplace.
  • Maintain a healthy, positive work environment.
  • Encourage positive “gossip” by touting successes, big and small, and publicly recognizing exemplary effort and work, and encouraging others to do the same. People who are in the habit of seeing the positive attributes of co-workers will be less likely to engage in the negative.
  • Management should address gossip formally with a workshop designed to get to the bottom of the issue and, more importantly, prevent further problems by giving employees the tools to communicate effectively. This allows people to address smaller issues directly with each other before they grow into something destructive. Additionally, a genuine connection with someone is the best way to avoid negative talk behind their back – people are less likely to engage in gossip about someone with whom they have a friendly relationship.

Dealing with gossip up-front will prevent a spark from turning into a wildfire. Creating a healthy, proactive workplace and a culture of respect is the best way to reduce the temptation to gossip and keep things running smoothly in the first place. Utilizing Applied Emotional Intelligence, a set of communication skills proven to improve workplace teamwork and success, is an extremely effective option to achieve a harmonious, and gossip-free, corporate culture.

Learn more about Applied Emotional Intelligence training – click here!

 

 



HOT BUTTONS

"I wish I hadn't said _____!" How many times have you said or done something in the heat of the moment which you later regret? Discover what pushes your hot buttons and what causes you to do or say things you shouldn't and why? Gain control;

FASCINATE

This fun 3-minute personality assessment identifies your personality's top Advantages at work. This doesn’t measure how you see the world… it measures how the world sees you. Discover your unique personal impact.

APPLIED EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Powerful solutions that help managers, entrepreneurs & individuals maximize their performance - in work and in life! Are you and your team applying Emotional Intelligence?

COACHING/FACILITATION

Third Level positively transforms the performance of executives and their teams around the world through proprietary, proven and powerful tools and techniques as the pathway for developing high performance leaders, teams, and outstanding business results.

...

Gary Press

Owner and CEO of Lifestyle Management Group. Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Steve has repeatedly shown an innate talent to quickly capture the attention and build trust with the people in my businesses - particularly those in leadership positions. Once this happens, truths become unlocked and problems become solved. He delivers in an entertaining and engaging fashion that produces creative team work and bottom line profits.

...

Nick Williams

Managing Director – Digital, Lloyds Banking Group, London, England

I’m a better leader, husband and father as a result of the work I do with Stephen. I’ve engaged the programme with multiple teams over 12 years, and we continue to generate exceptional business results. I see the programme as my gift for all those who I’ve worked with and led. Without exception, they feel much better about themselves and the world they live in - delivering measurable business improvement through engagement as inspiring leaders of high-performing teams.

User Reviews

Why Choose Us

Learn your personal, unique strengths and differentiators that set you apart from your competition. Cut through the noise…get clarity and improve your relationships & teams.

  • Maximize your team’s talents
  • Allow your team to collaborate with enjoyment & superior results
  • Understand your engaging personality strengths
  • Learn your unique personality advantages to increase your bottom line
  • Enjoy increased synergy in your office: enhanced cooperation and creativity
  • Have a consultant on-hand to unravel complications and maximize opportunities
company-banner

Applied Emotional Intelligence

Let's face it, business is all about relationships – with your customers, your team, and your vendors, relationships drive success.

Applied Emotional Intelligence has been described as “the capacity to effectively perceive, express, understand and manage emotions in a professional and effective manner in relationships at work.” While IQ, personality and behavioral tendencies are relatively static, Emotional Intelligence (EI or ‘EQ’) is a proven competency that can be developed and learned.

READ MORE

company-banner

Personal Development

At the end of our day – be it a business day, a holiday, or a personal day, all relationships are personal.

Rare is the day that we have stress in the morning at home, and then go into work ready to perform at our best. And, how many of us have returned home after a tough day at the office and been Mr. or Ms. Wonderful with our families?

READ MORE

company-banner

Outstanding Teams

Executive Coaching is the fastest growing development tool in the competitive arena of executive education.

Using our proprietary approach to Applied Emotional Intelligence. It is not for the faint hearted, it does deliver amazing results. ThirdLEVEL has improved the performance of executives and their teams around the world through proven and powerful listening and empowerment coaching techniques using applied Applied Emotional Intelligence.

READ MORE

company-banner

Business Culture of Success

Businesses and organizations of all sizes must constantly adapt and change.

ThirdLEVEL has worked with companies as small as 6 people up to projects for major multinational organizations of thousands of people. When you seek a quantum leap in results, then Business Culture of Success from the inside out is the most profound and sustainable approach. Business Culture of Success starts with the recognition that something must change.

READ MORE

 

RECENT POSTS

  • When Shift Happens – Strategies for Leading Change

    The one constant in life is change. And, that change is accelerating all around us. When is the last time...

  • Trust: The Hard Currency Of Business

    “Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade.” – Tom Peters While businesses fight...

  • The Power of Listening

    ‘There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” G.K. Chesterton   Many of us think we listen without really...

Third Level sends out occasional notes that are intended to add
great value to your life. If you're interested:




Please leave this field empty.