Let’s start with a riddle: Who am I? I break hearts and ruin lives. I’m cunning and malicious and get stronger with age. The more I’m quoted, the more I’m believed. Once I damage a reputation, it’s never the same. I make headlines and headaches. I spawn suspicion and grow grief. Even my name hisssses. Who am I?
The answer: GOSSIP.
. Humans are social by nature and social interactions can easily turn into gossip sessions. With an understanding of what gossip really is and how damaging it can be to an organization.
Can Negatively Impact Company Culture If gossip is common within a workplace, it can negatively impact company culture. The mood and tone of gossip can cause an attitude shift that may make a company feel less harmonious. Can Cause Conflict between Employees Gossip can be hurtful and embarrassing, so sometimes the employees that are the subject of gossip will become angry upon finding out about rumors. Could Undermine Productivity When employees are gossiping, they are likely not working productively. Further, employees that are interested in a rumor being circulated may be distracted from their work and have trouble focusing on daily tasks and interactions with customers.
Below are some tips on how to get out of the gossip pipeline:
Be busy. Gossipmongers want attention. If you are preoccupied with your work, you cannot be available to listen to their latest story/rumor. Don’t participate. Walk away from the story. Do not give visual clues that you are interested in listening. If someone passes a juicy story on to you, please do not pass it any further. Take personal responsibility to act with integrity. Turn it around by saying something positive. It is not nearly as much fun to spread negative news if it is spoiled by a complimentary phrase about the person being attacked.
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