"Reading the title, you might be thinking of the gossipmonger of your group or maybe now you are."
In our corporate lives, it is too common for us to be a part of gossips. We rant, we criticize, we make fun, we laugh, we cry, we analyze, we think all this, yet forget the difference where and what not to. That is what office gossip is about, we do not know if there is a line, a limit. People gossip because they simply enjoy it. It is often claimed that gossipers are generally attention seekers or are insecure. But let us not categorize it. It simply is not a good practice to encourage gossips because as much as we try to keep it a secret or how much we trust the other person, it is practically impossible to contain information.
Office Gossips- Examples
Office Gossips are apparent whenever there is a casual discussion. And hence the acknowledgment of some facts is necessary to first realize that your casual conversation is going to lead to gossip:
Whenever you are trying to extract extra information from a topic whose information is common knowledge for all
Whenever you are talking about a third or fourth person, you need not make assumptions based on what you already know
Sharing False information is just a wildfire
Personal or Confidential leak of information
Belittling or talking ill of others
The most common- Discussing rumors and predicting consequences or reasons behind it
A casual conversation or small talk has benefits at the workplace but one should see that it does not reach the point of gossips, once you get comfortable.
Drawing a line at Gossips is how you deal
After you acknowledge that the discussion is becoming a gossip, just nod and don’t respond from the mouth. This is the best you can do to avoid the situation. This also somehow indicates that you are not in for furthering the topic, so there is a good chance that the other person will not discuss anything next time.
“A typical gossip time lasts for about 15 minutes” You should know when it is taking the extra time of your office work hours. More time already points at extra discussion, which has a higher chance of being more gossipy in nature. Know it, quit it.
A light talk in your break should not include too much of your work information, especially your colleagues or your manager. Anyways, your breaks are to refresh your mind and not to take you back to the stress you are already facing.
Discussing your direct colleagues with anyone, especially other team members is more toxic gossips. This type of gossip creates a higher chance of having strained relationships in the workplace. So, why do such self-harm?
When you say it is private, it must be
Keep your private life to yourself, and mean it. Friendships develop over time and it is natural that you have some informal conversations with your colleagues, but here too, draw a line so you don't become the talk of the town. The decisions are yours for you to let someone enter the space.
Divert the Trigger Topics
When you realize a topic has extended beyond a limit, smoothly divert it to pleasant conversation favorable to the situation. Too much happened in the previous party often is the topic of Monday lunch. Diverting it to the dance performed by a member might help change the subject. Ensure the topic is now not repeated.
Be Solution Oriented
Gossips arise from on-going problems. The responses one give towards the problem is mostly the reason for it to become gossipy. In this case, be the person, who gives the solution, and helps get it solved as soon as possible so that it does not harm anyone in the wrong way. Here, there is a high chance for you to get carried away too with the speed of reactions coming from all sides. But be the focussed one and get it resolved.
How can you Avoid Gossip?
Speculations, personal comments, opinions, jeopardize your image, distract you from your goals;
Keep your rationality awake while you are in your office; you spend a good amount there, be there completely as required.
Keep yourself professional, work-focused, and casual enough to keep yourself fresh and focused.
Remember: If they are talking about them with you, they are talking about you too.
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