When I was working full-time and going to business school at night, I witnessed so much gossip and negativity. It seemed as though my classmates and co-workers talked and laughed about others just to make themselves feel better. Those being talked about sensed the negative energy and did not feel appreciated or happy.
How are we all suppose to be a team and accomplish a common goal if we are not all on the same page?
I tried to be the person that bridged the gap and kept everyone on our team happy but sometimes I just felt like saying, “Grow up! We are not children and you need to act like an adult!”
Ever been there before?
[Related Post: How To Keep It Classy With Difficult Coworkers]
The Stats on Gossip at Work
The statistics of workplace gossip are mind boggling!
- 60% of people in the workplace cited gossip as the No. 1 problem.
- 2 out of every 3 Americans have low self-esteem.
- 80% of people are hurt by words.
- Research shows that only about 20% of people are able to handle put-downs without emotional pain or psychological damage.
According to Scott Hunter, author of Making Work Work, states:
“When gossip infects the workplace, people shift their focus to what is wrong and what is not working, rather than on what is possible. When gossip is present, there is no communication, no understanding, no appreciation of the other person’s position, no intimacy, and certainly no trust. Gossip causes turnover and can be an irreversible problem if left to grow and spread within a company.”
What are some tips to help build a gossip-free work environment?
1. Learn to remain neutral and not say anything at all. Lead by example by avoiding confrontation.
2. If you are the target of gossip, don’t let it upset you. Gossipers like to get a reaction and if you ignore them, they will leave you alone in the future.
3. Know who you can trust and always remember this Turkish proverb – “Who gossips to you will gossip of you.”
How do you handle gossip at work?