Time to silence the gossips

Jul 27 2007 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Did you hear the one about…? Employees across the land have undoubtedly heard that or a variation on that theme each and every day in the office. Meanwhile, the whole issue of office gossip has become an increasingly hot topic of conversation in the past few months.

Recently there was a case of four women in New Jersey who lost their jobs because of allegedly spreading rumors that a boss was sleeping with a colleague.

I can't comment specifically on the case because I don't know both sides of the story; however, let's assume that the accusation is true, in which case file this one under the "what were you thinking?" category.

While no one wants to return to a Victorian-era workplace (even in the US), there's still room for "professionalism" in one's profession. The fine line between work mates and best mates is all too often blurred. Repeating office gossip is not worthy of an adult in the workplace; it's reminiscent of high school.

We've all heard or shared gossip in the workplace, though it's often done at one's peril. Depending on where you work, your place of business may be a breeding ground of competition for few chances of advancement. Why open yourself up to blackmail or hearing your comments repeated back to you by someone in HR or Legal?

It's not just one's mental and physical health that we need to take care of in our professional lives; we also need to work on maintaining a healthy reputation.

So, before starting to spread a nice rumor either, take a second and think about your personal integrity – does it really need to take a hit (or expose you to a potential visit with HR) just to fit in or be cool in the workplace?


Older Comments

But all gossip is not harmful. There is a positive frisson to 'listening-in' as colleagues pass-on information that can empower a workforce.

By gossiping about new diredtives colleagues often feel they have had a hand in creating them themselves - always a good reason for committing to change.

Janet Howd