Ways to Combat Workplace Gossip

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    Don't Be a Gossip

    • If you're one of the gossipers at your workplace, make a commitment to stop. Let your coworkers know that you want to be held accountable if you break this commitment. Start your commitment fresh by taking responsibility for any damage your words have caused and making amends. Also, if the gossip being spread is caused by a lack of disclosure in your company, get the facts directly from those in the know instead of making assumptions.

    Don't Enable Gossip

    • One of the best ways to avoid gossip is by keeping busy with work. You can also limit your contact with known gossipers and make yourself scarce when conversations turn into gossip sessions. If you can't make an escape, be careful not to give nonverbal cues of interest or agreement to the things being said. Also, add positive comments to diffuse the negativity. If the gossiper is truly making you uncomfortable, tell her this directly.

    Avoid Being Gossiped About

    • Don't give your coworkers fodder to gossip about. Keep your sharing of personal information to a minimum, and choose your work friends carefully. When you've developed a trusting friendship, then you can share more information. If gossip is already being spread about you, consider whether it's better to confront the person responsible or let the gossip die down. It could be in your best interest to avoid escalating the situation. Talk to a superior or human resources member to diffuse the situation.

    What Management Can Do

    • A change in the culture of a workplace starts from the top. Reduce the need for gossip by communicating regularly and openly about what's going on in the company. Create an environment where employees can speak honestly about their concerns and ask to have things clarified. Make it official company policy that the spread of gossip is not tolerated. Have group discussions about the expectations of employees and the company relating to gossip. Set an example for your employees by not gossiping yourself.

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