You’re doing your job, meeting deadlines and quotas, and then your boss asks to see you in their office. You aren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary; maybe this is to discuss a new project or a new addition to the team. But something seems off. Your boss doesn’t look happy, and the first words out of their mouth are “There’s been talk around the office that you’ve been…” And things only go downhill from there. (more…)
You’re proud of the work you put in while on the job. But one day you walk by the breakroom and hear a co-worker say you frequently miss deadlines, come into work late, or steal their ideas for presentations.
Office gossip can be incredibly demoralizing, especially if you’re new on the job. Someone is spreading lies about you, but it’s their word against yours; is there really anything you can do about it? (more…)
Stay positive and dodge the drama.
Humans like to gossip. It’s fun to talk to your co-workers about managers that might be less-than-perfect, or project members that just aren’t carrying their weight. You get a certain buzz from feeling like you’re “in-the-know” on a juicy situation.
It’s something we all do. But there are plenty of reasons to minimize gossiping in the workplace, especially if you want to grow your career. Let’s dig in.
In a work environment, no matter how many employees there are, gossip is most likely going to occur. According to the American Psychological Association gossip can be “undeniably aversive and problematic,” for individuals. Accepting the fact that gossip will happen occasionally, it is important to know how to avoid it and what to do if it happens to you.
Turn the other cheek.
The best advice regarding office gossip is simple – don’t do it. Gossip leads to a multitude of problems, including distractions, hurt feelings, and even damaged relationships. When you hear co-workers discussing another individual’s personal or professional business, avoid joining in. Although you may be tempted to include yourself in the conversation, avoiding it entirely will help you steer clear of any further problems caused by the situation. The golden rule applies perfectly to this scenario – treat others as you would want to be treated. If you don’t appreciate your co-workers gossiping about you, don’t gossip about your co-workers.
If the time comes when you hear of others gossiping about you, respond with maturity. Brushing the situation under the rug will most likely lead to unresolved resentment and an uncomfortable workplace. If you choose to address the situation instead, approach the offending co-worker in a private setting and gently explain your thoughts and feelings on the situation. Due to the delicacy of the situation, approach your peer gently to avoid playing the blame game and creating further workplace problems. By addressing your frustrations calmly and maturely, you will help prevent further inappropriate discussions and keep the situation from escalating.
If for some reason your gracious response to the office gossip is not received well, keep calm and find support from those above you. Seek guidance from a manager, supervisor, or the HR Department within the company to find ways to resolve the issue. Just be sure your reinforcement doesn’t turn into someone you can gossip with.
Being the victim of gossip is never fun, especially at work where it involves your professional peers. Knowing the potential hurt it may cause you and your reputation, be sure to avoid it when you can spare your co-workers the same frustrations. In the end, your team members will respect your decision to maintain professional conversation far more than your knowledge of the inner office gossip.
You hear your name being whispered. You hear laughter following. Then when you walk into a room, everyone stops talking. Webster’s Dictionary defines gossip as “such talk” or “one who chatters idly about others.” How many times have you been talked about or you’ve talked about someone else? In the workplace, it can create barriers, stir negativity, and lead to destruction.
If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, beware of the ugly beast known as gossip. It can be negative, hurtful, and embarrassing for everyone involved. It can also create conflict in the workplace, especially if you and your co-workers are in close proximity all day. To help you avoid the office drama, here are some tips on how to stay away from the rumor grapevine.
Focus on your work. You have a job to do at work. If you stay focused on your tasks, you won’t have time to participate in negative chatter. If your co-workers see you’re busy, they’ll be less likely to ask you to partake in their chit-chat. If they try to include you in the conversation, let them know you don’t feel comfortable and to exclude you from the conversation. If someone starts gossiping around you, make a choice to walk away from the conversation and don’t participate.
Keep your personal and professional life separate. It’s important to build relationships with your co-workers because doing so helps you function better as a team. But, be sure to keep your conversations professional in nature. If you tell them too much about your personal life, you could be giving individuals a reason to gossip about you. Be careful what you share and who you share information with. This also applies to social profiles such as Facebook. If you share information on your online profile that you don’t want your co-workers to see, control your privacy settings, create a professional page, or make it a policy to not add co-workers to your Facebook account.
Choose friends carefully. When you spend eight hours a day at work, it’s easy to form friendships with your co-workers. If you hang out outside of work, be careful not to talk about the workplace or other co-workers. If so, word could get back to your office and people could get upset.
Stop gossip in its tracks. The best way to end negative conversation is to say something nice about the person being talked about. Being positive is a great tool for combating negativity. A kind word can end the fun that gossips have and can stop them in their tracks – kindness doesn’t provide fuel to the fire.
At some point in time, everyone has partaken in gossip. It's damaging and never the solution to a problem. It’s better just to stop it before it gets out of control. But, if gets to a point where it is damaging to those involved, let your supervisor know. It’s sometimes tough to be the positive one, but it’s well worth the effort and is a true testament to your character, maturity, attitude, and leadership ability.
No matter who you are or how likeable you claim to be, everyone at some point in their life has had trouble fitting in. And, it has nothing to do with if you’re shy or outgoing, or whether or not you were prom king or your high school’s chess champion. Fitting in is a struggle we have all encountered and it doesn’t end in high school. It can be just as difficult to fit in at work. No matter where you are in your career, if you’re feeling like an outsider at the water cooler or in the cube, try these tips to click with your co-workers.
Be a Team Player. Nobody likes to work for or with someone who is not a team player. So, make sure you volunteer to help on projects at work or take some tasks off someone’s plate. If one of your co-workers has to stay late to complete an assignment, check to see if there is something you can do to help them get out of the office faster. Your co-workers will appreciate your willingness to help out and may even return the favor one day. Letting your co-workers know you’re on their team will help build camaraderie and trust between you and your teammates.
Go to Lunch. Instead of going home for lunch everyday or eating out alone, ask your co-workers to go to lunch at least once or twice a month. If you eat in the break room, invite others to share a table. Getting together to learn about your fellow colleagues gives you time to find common likes, interests, and hobbies. And it shows you care about them as a person, not just as a co-worker. It can be intimidating, but be the first to take the initiative and ask a co-worker to lunch. You won’t just be building team relationships, you could be building great friendships too!
Don’t Gossip. People don’t want to hang out with someone who is always talking about other people. So, make sure you keep your opinions about others to a minimum and don’t talk about co-workers who may rub you the wrong way. Even when co-workers entice you to join in on salacious gossip about the boss or another employee, don’t take the bait. Employees who don’t gossip about co-workers will be trusted and respected by the whole team!
Be Happy. It takes more muscles to form a frown then it does to smile, so try to come to work every day with a great attitude. People enjoy being around those who have a good outlook on life and who can make them smile, so be the one who makes someone else’s day brighter and be happy while you are at work.
While it may seem that some people just naturally fit in with others in the workplace, the truth is, everyone has had difficulties feeling comfortable with their co-workers at one time or another. So, don’t take it personally if you find yourself struggling to fit in, and follow these tips to make your day a little easier.