It really doesn’t matter where you work, if you work with other people you will deal with the issue of gossip. Gossip infiltrates the workplace, the home, church, and the organizations you are involved with. It is something that happens and it is something that can be very harmful to those involved.
There is just something “juicy” when you get the chance to hear a “tasty fact” about another person and it is not from them, but another who has either heard it from someone else, or has been told directly and felt that it was their “duty” to let others also know (betrayal of something confidential).
Just think of the magazines that make millions on gossip; People, In Touch, US, The National Enquirer, or the Star. If gossip was not something that intrigued and lured us why do these magazines exists? People love it!
At one time or another we have all fallen into this “gossip” trap. It is when we do not grow and learn from it, either by betraying another or being betrayed that we can become infectious ourselves.
Gossip causes devastating issues such as;
- Lack of trust
- Strained or broken relationships
In the workplace if you have gossip you can be guaranteed that people are under performing. When they are gossiping it is obvious that they are not working and not only are they not working, but they are distracting others and keeping them from work.
As a manager, supervisor or business owner you need to take control when you know that there is a gossip problem and make those involved aware of their behavior. Let them know what the results of their gossip could be and that is it not tolerated. Have a policy that your workplace is a “gossip free” environment and that there are consequences for such behavior.
Ask your employees take the challenge to “not” talk about another person who is not part of the conversation. Surveys on workplace gossip show that employees that are non-gossipers are secure, happy, and liked at work. On the other hand those that gossip were found to be insecure, not liked or trusted and not very happy.
Gossip can be devastating to a workplace not only because employees are distracted and not working, but gossip can cause employees to quit their jobs leaving business owners in tough and costly situations by having to hire and train new employees.
A gossip free work environment is the only answer. How can you do this? “just say no”, when someone tries to tell you something that you know they should not. Sometimes this is very hard but, you will do great if you remember these points;
- If you wouldn’t say it in front of the person it is about, don’t say it at all because it is gossip.
- If you have to use a hushed tones and say “don’t repeat this” then it is gossip
Gossip may seem juicy, but it really is poison. Take control of yourself and “just say no to gossip”. Your workplace, home, church or organization will be more successful and the people involved in them much happier.