Office gossip is unavoidable; it is an apparently leisure pursuit that offers fodder for lunchtime discussions and breaks. However gossip is detrimental to the setting and morale of an office environment. It could actually hurt people’s feelings, ruin long established reputations and even end in legal actions.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with office gossips.
- Be the example and set the tone
If perhaps you happen to be a manager that wants to scale down or get rid of office gossip, examine yourself first. Have you been gossiping about someone? Have you been speculating idly or making complaints with regards to company guidelines? If you do, do not be shocked if your subordinates do. Set the correct tone and those subordinates will follow suit.
- Be open to and be attentive to issues
In the event that your subordinates feel you’re reluctant to hear and talk about workplace issues, gossip may be the outcome. As long as they feel they cannot talk to you, they will often complain to one another. When they are not able to get very clear responses to burning questions they are likely to speculate among themselves.
- At all times keep communication lines open
Be ready not just to pay attention to issues from subordinates, but to disclose vital information also. As a matter of fact when faced with a problem — getting the information to your staff concerning the problem — is generally much better than reacting to questions from them. Your staffs are going to value this transparency and might gossip and guess considerably less.
- Face the gossiper
When people spread rumors about you and believe that it’ll bring no negative consequences, they’ll keep doing it. On the other hand, if they see that there are grave consequences, you increase the likelihood that the gossip about you will stop. The gossipers will get the message and other people who could possibly be lured to join and gossip about you.
- Deal with the issue not with the person
Whenever you deal with a person who happens to be gossiping, you will be a lot more professional when you pay attention to the issue and behavior instead of the person. As an illustration, rather than saying, “You are a nasty person for gossiping about me,” think about saying, “I am worried about the gossiping, and I want it to stop ” Using this method of reacting causes you to look better and more professional.
- Confirm by means of questions
If you think you are unable to prevent the gossip going on, at the very least attempt to verify what you might be hearing. Inquire on specific details usually, there are no specifics with gossips and by inquiring about details, you are discreetly forcing the issue out since the person who can’t give any specific details is tacitly confirming the weakness and lack of credibility of the information.
- Give attention to solutions not problems
A great deal of gossip takes place when several employees are concerned about a certain problem. If you ever feel like the conversation in your group is going in the direction of complaining or gossiping, Rather than joining in with the complaining, just inquire from the group what could possibly be the solution. However, focusing on solutions will eliminate the group’s urge to gossip.