How to stop office gossip?

Published: 16th July 2009
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We all have experienced office gossip and we are even part of it but does gossip hurts the culture and environment of the organisation? Yes. A certain steps have to be taken gossip have kept minimal or negative which is definitely deadly and here are the following points which can help to stop it.

1. Stop at-work chit chat by halting a conversation that is headed in a gossipy direction. Try lines such as, "Let's hold off talking about Sheila until she's here," or "This not something I feel comfortable talking about with Peter in the next room." Your co-workers will be caught off-guard, but chances are they will change the subject.

2. Announce the possibility that email correspondence may be recorded. Large companies perform random checks of at-work email, and this tactic can be very effective at eliminating office gossip. True, coworkers can still talk in the break room, but that's a much riskier move than spreading gossip via people's inboxes.

3. Remind yourself and others that participating in gossip ruins credibility. Although coworkers may come to you for gossip, they certainly won't come to you with a serious secret or when they are in need of trusted business advice. Unfortunately, gossip goes on your invisible resume and may slow the speed at which you achieve career goals.

4. Attack gossip indirectly by working toward a tighter knit community. Humans are naturally petty and self-centered, but gossip is much more likely to occur when coworkers are not getting along. If you have the luxury of working in a small or medium-sized office, create an environment that brings out the best in everyone. You'll see the gossip greatly reduced. In larger, more corporate offices, this is a difficult feat. Bring in professionals for community-building events or demand that everyone attend an office retreat.

5. Shut your own mouth. A surefire way to put a stop to office gossip is to take yourself out of the game entirely. When your mouth is shut, you can't dish it out and you can't take it. Coworkers will respect your ability to rise above the small talk.

By Priti Shah
Laurent & Benon Management Consultants Ltd, a public limited company with its corporate office Gurgaon with Pan-India presence. We as an organization strive to offer the right Human Resource Solutions at the right time and enable our clients to enhance the net worth of their human resource capital.

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