Fighting Off Gossip in the Workplace

The basic principle of conversations requires a messenger, a message, and a recipient. Communication cannot happen when a piece is missing. When part of the message is lacking or changed, then the true message is lost. Inconsistency with the primary truth is the primary cause of gossip.

Our capacity to think before speaking is often forgotten when interesting stories reach us. The fire of gossip is often fuelled by individuals who are insecure, under-appreciated, or simply a malicious person that enjoys causing problems within the community of workers. Here are the steps on pursuing the hot flames of gossipmongers;

1. Knowing the Culprit

It is not an impossible feat to know who creates gossip in the workplace. Managers must be proactive in dealing with issues like this by constant reminder on zero-tolerance towards sharing unverified information. Such actions must be dealt with as soon as the perpetrator is singled out.

2. Fostering Positive Reinforcements

Beginning the day with uplifting remarks and positive insights from last week’s work will surely promote productivity. It is proven and tested over time that people are sometimes deprived of affirming statements coming from higher-ups. When these employees are triggered externally with problems like gossip, they do not have enough willpower to restrain themselves from judging others.

3. Practicing Accountability

For some, a culture of transparency is a total shock because of the confrontation that follows. When tracing back the source of gossip, it is best that the root cause is addressed and prevented.

It is also good practice to call into account the people that are gossiping behind each others’ back and have them deal with each other face to face. I used to call these people in my room and share with them what I heard from the grapevine. They will be forced to discuss their issues under the light of truth. It is often easier for people with issues to fight their war behind the scenes of gossip. Exposing them and the bad stories they spread will often prevent recurrence.

There is no benefit in entertaining gossip. It is malicious, negative and destructive. It also wastes our time. Often, it will come at the cost of the reputation of others. The best way to stop gossip is to kill it on its tracks. Do not bother listening to it. After all, you have better things to do.