Gossip has now become the norm and part of the office culture in Nigeria. Remember during break or after work hours when you had exciting discussions with your office buddies? The truth is, you were not gisting. Instead, you were gossiping for most of the time. Don’t worry, we won’t judge too much
Not all forms of gossip are bad. When you share details on the company and business to keep the other party informed, there’s nothing wrong with this. Bad gossip, on the other hand, is more toxic and is known to cause the most drama. In addition, bad gossip can ruin the work culture of any organization by making employees feel less valued, thereby affecting their productivity and commitment to work. Therefore, to improve your organization’s work culture, you should deal with office gossip intentionally.
If you’re looking for a way to confront gossip in your office, you’re in luck. In this article, we will point out some dos and don’ts of office gossip guaranteed to help you stay out of the drama. Let’s begin.
- Stay out of it
If you don’t want to be gossiped about, it would be best not to engage in it. Unfortunately, chances are you’re more likely to be talked about when you gossip. Even though some companies do not have a strict “no gossip policy,” you should adopt one for yourself.
An excellent way to stay out of drama is by keeping yourself busy. That way, you’re less likely to be available for gossip. If, by chance, a colleague approaches you to talk down on another person; you should excuse yourself by saying you’re uncomfortable talking about it. If you’re in a room where others gossip, remain silent and don’t get involved.
- Say something positive about the subject of the discussion.
Sometimes, you might be in a position where it would be difficult to excuse yourself. In this instance, you can save yourself by saying something positive about the person.
For instance, if a colleague approaches you to inform you that Racheal got promoted because she is having an affair with the director. You can quickly respond by saying that it’s because she is hardworking and dedicated to her job. This way, you indirectly stand up for a colleague.
When you do this, chances are that you will make the office gossip feel uncomfortable, and they will never approach you to gossip. What better way to avoid drama than this?
- Identify the toxic gossiper and stay away from them
This tip would come in handy if you have just joined the organization. Identifying these toxic gossipers would be relatively easy because they would always show their colors. They would most likely approach you first, telling you the details about everyone in the office, who you should avoid, and other unsolicited advice.
Once you’ve identified them, it is best to avoid them and minimize your communication with these types of people if you don’t want to get dragged into the drama.
- Set boundaries
While you must have a personal connection with your colleagues for a better work relationship, your colleagues are not your friends. Understanding this would help you limit the information you share. If you want to avoid your matters being the topic for discussion, avoid sharing them with your colleagues. Office gossip can be painful when you’re the subject.
- Dismiss the person offensively.
While we understand that staying out of office gossip is your priority and you want to excuse yourself from the discussion, do not be offensively dismissive. Being rude can lead to hatred among workers and even make you the subject of subsequent gossip. Instead, you should try being polite even as you excuse yourself.
- Spread the news
When you hear someone being gossiped about, the last thing you want to do is spread the news. No one wants to be close to someone that spreads nasty rumors about their colleagues. We advise that you stay out of it and keep it at that. If it is pressing and would affect the person, you could either speak to a trusted manager or drop an anonymous message for the person.
- Don’t be insensitive to the victim.
If a coworker approaches you complaining that others are gossiping about him or her, the last thing you’d want to do is to dismiss such a person insensitively. Instead, you could encourage such a person by saying positive things while not aggravating the issue and fostering a good working relationship between you and your colleagues.
While maintaining a cordial working relationship is a priority, you should be careful about your conversation types. If you’re ever found gossiping, it would lead to a loss of trust and respect and can even get you fired if your office had a no-gossip policy. Staying out of the drama can be difficult, but you can stay clear by implementing the tips in this article. Let us know when you try them. We hope to see you again if you’re interested in more business and professional tips.