Home > Personal Issues > Dealing with Office Gossip

Dealing with Office Gossip

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Jul 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Gossip Career Development Conflict

Wherever there is an office, there is office gossip. A quick catch-up round the watercooler may not seem like it is doing any harm but office gossip can be harmful. Not only can it affect the stress levels of the people you are talking about, it can also have an adverse affect on your Career Development. Nobody wants to employ somebody who can’t be trusted and makes snide comments about others, so watch what you say. If you are the one being gossiped about, then stand up for yourself and don’t let their childishness win.

Why People Gossip

There are a number of reasons why people gossip, whether in the office or elsewhere. First, it can be a bonding experience. You and your colleagues may not have very much in common except the people you work with, so talking about them gives you a shared interest. Also, commenting on their weaknesses makes you feel better about yourself and your own failures. Insecurity is the main reason why gossips and bullies talk about others.

Don’t Get Involved

When everyone else around you is gossiping it can be difficult not to get involved. However, think about how you would feel if they were gossiping about you. The best thing you can do is to walk away from the situation, or if you are feeling brave, tell them straight up that you don’t want to be a gossip. If they are worth socialising with, they will respect your decision.

Approach The Ringleader

If you find out that any of your colleagues are gossiping about you, you need to stand up for yourself. This can be daunting but you need to show them that they can’t hide behind their big mouths. Work out who the ringleader is and confront them about it. Obviously you want to avoid conflict, so remain calm and do it in private. Try to work out the problem in a mature and respectful manner and come to an agreement together.

Report Bullies

If you have tried to talk to the gossips and they are continuing to be disrespectful, you may need to report them to your manager. Gossip is a form of bullying and should not be tolerated in any workplace. You don’t want their negative influence to affect your career development so get the situation dealt with. Explain to your boss what has been happening, give practical examples and offer a solution that would make things better.

Office gossip may be an integral part of working life but that doesn’t mean that it is acceptable. Try to not to get involved in any form of gossip and walk away if your colleagues start discussing others. If the gossip is about you, try to approach the ringleader and discuss the problem amicably. If there is still not a resolution, you may need to report it as gossiping is a form of bullying and should not be allowed to impact your happiness at work.

Handling Office Politics and Conflict

For advice on Handling Office Politics and other forms of Conflict In The Office, read our articles in the Personal Issues Category of this site.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Total Custard
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    Hi I'm a 35, and currently an aircraft mechanic, with a city and guilds Level 3 in Aeronautical Engineering and a NVQ Level 2 and 3 in the…
    24 August 2020
  • Maddy
    Re: Becoming a Carer
    Hello I’m a 54 year old woman recently left my career in retail and wanting to change my work environment and make a difference in time…
    18 August 2020
  • Azza
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    Hi I am a HGV Driver & work nights & Looking to do a HGV Mechanic course & was wondering if I’m too old to learn?
    27 July 2020
  • Ash
    Re: Things to Consider Before a Career Change
    Hello there, my names Ashley And I am looking for a career change, and wanting to learn to become a painter…
    24 July 2020
  • Sazzy
    Re: Returning to University
    Good morning, I am extremely keen to study and become a social worker. I have done a lot of research into this topic. I understand I…
    9 July 2020
  • Kat gale
    Re: Becoming a Paramedic
    I need pinging in the right direction I want a new career change at 48 but don’t no where to start please help
    10 June 2020
  • Pat
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    I am looking for a career change. I've done a fare bit of decorating work and want to work for myself any advice would be…
    4 June 2020
  • nita
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    I'm 40 I failed myatric I'm working in motor industry I want to do motor mechanics but I'm not sho if there is any chance for me
    1 June 2020
  • Barkerelli
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    Hello. I have worked in Adult Social Carr all my adult life after studying Social Policy at university. For the last 12 years I have…
    31 May 2020
  • Ron
    Re: Where to Get Help With Funding a Career Change
    Hi I am looking to move away from IT (engineering programming) and looking to move into Procurement / FMCG…
    22 May 2020