Dealing with Office Gossip

Dealing with Office Gossip

There are normally two types of gossip; gossip about another person in the company and gossip about a changing work environment. Gossip usually gives the person spreading the gossip some attention. In the case of a person who gossips about his or her co-workers, it gives the gossiper a sense of superiority. It’s meant to cause the other person some harm. In the case of work gossip about a changing environment, it gives the gossiper attention. They want to be seen as someone important enough to be in the loop.

The Facts
The person spreading gossip usually speaks in a roundabout way that’s filled with mistakes, vague accusations and outright lies. Before taking steps to deal with the gossiper, it’s smart to get all the facts of the situation.

Address the Gossiper
The gossiper must know that their behavior is inappropriate. When dealing with a person who gossips, you must not get emotional or angry enough to lash out inappropriately yourself. Often, this is exactly the type of reaction a gossiper loves to elicit.

As a Co-Worker
If the gossiper is a co-worker trying to gossip with you about someone else, ask them for specific facts about the gossip. Ask politely but directly why they are spreading the information. If the person is gossiping about you, a confrontation without anger is the best way to deal with it. If you can’t be objective and unemotional, report the problem to a supervisor or the human resource department.

As a Manager
If an employee reports a gossip, get to the bottom of the problem with the gossiper. Find out why they are unhappy. There might be a perceived slight in the office that management needs to know. Make sure it’s clearly understood that gossip is not tolerated in the office environment.

Instead of letting the office gossip become frustrated with copiers or printers that need repair, call Arizona Business Equipment‘s copier leasing and printer repair services. The office gossip will have to find another reason to spread gossip around the office.