Gossip is a pervasive problem at countless workplaces. Regardless of what field you’re in, there’s a good chance you’ve either encountered on-the-job gossip or been the victim of it. While it’s true that almost everyone has indulged in gossip at some point in their lives, this doesn’t make propagating unsavory rumors any less unacceptable. Furthermore, gossip in the workplace can prove particularly damaging. Anyone curious about why workplace gossip should be avoided at all costs is urged to consider the following reasons.
1. Damaged Reputations
Spreading rumors at work can cause irreparable damage to coworkers’ reputations. Regardless of whether or not there’s truth behind the gossip, it’s not your place to make or break reputations. If a coworker has engaged in negative behavior that has impacted you directly, it behooves you to speak with a higher-up or HR rep before appealing to your peers. Alternatively, if you happen upon a piece of gossip that doesn’t affect you or is completely unsubstantiated, take care to keep it to yourself. For more information on maintaining good relationships with your coworkers, visit Biz Catalyst 360.
2. Common Courtesy
In the workplace – and indeed, life in general – treating others as you wish to be treated is a good rule of thumb. In other words, if you don’t wish to become the subject of rumors, don’t engage in gossip. The more gossip you spread, the more likely you are to find yourself the victim of it. Conversely, developing a reputation for being kind, even-minded and put off by gossip will diminish your chances of getting on your coworkers’ bad side. If you truly wish to curb workplace gossip, make a point of leading by example.
3. Causing Trouble for Yourself
If you develop a reputation for being a gossip, your workplace relationships are going to suffer. Not only will coworkers make a point of avoiding you, they’re liable to make you a frequent topic of conversation – and not in a flattering sense. Additionally, if a coworker makes HR aware that you’ve been spreading malicious rumors and creating discord among your fellow employees, you may even find your career in jeopardy.
Workplaces can be highly abrasive environments. With coworkers competing for recognition from higher-ups and tensions constantly running high, it’s not hard to see why people engage in gossip. However, in light of the plethora of undesirable consequences workplace gossip can have, it’s in everyone’s best interest that it be avoided.