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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Office Gossips, How Can You Prevent it?

Firstly, what is gossip? Wikipedia defines gossip as rumors about personal or private affairs of others. It is the most common means of sharing facts and views, but also has a reputation for errors.
Gossip can be productive but always destructive. While some gossip does have truth in it, most of them are filled with false and misleading information. Most of the times, we tend to indulge ourselves to chitchats that sometimes we forget to stop. Expect no understanding, no trust and no respect of other co-worker's position if gossip is present in your workplace. This article will help you control your cravings for gossips especially at office. Let me first give you the common causes of destructive gossips.
People tend to make up stories which are usually not true. "Crab mentality" is a very familiar word to you. One can become so jealous about their co-workers at office maybe because of insecurities or they feel the person was more inferior to them but they are the one who are getting the limelight.
Most people discriminates others furiously. Local dialect speaking people, religious people, nerd and ugly people, homosexuals, these people have their own distinction of criticism and unfair treatment. The gossiper is very much aware of discriminating these kind of people, but does not care at all. Discrimination is at abundance in almost every organization.
And lastly, the most common cause of gossip,
Romance or Affection
Truly, this is the hottest topic in every gossip I heard at my workplace. I supposed you also do? We like to hear almost every type of romance gossip we could get. It could be from lovers, bachelors, straight and bisexual romance, and of course, the adulterers - the most forbidden of them all and the most talk about. Public display of affection is the main reason for this. If you don't show it, there will be no gossip. Simple right?
The effect of these Gossips can be disturbing to some and can impact a permanent damage to a person's life. Gossiping at workplace can also have a very bad effect on the organization as a whole. Malicious gossip can break the company's vision of a smooth and harmonious relationship. It creates a very uncomfortable atmosphere for everyone and makes people unproductive and takes away their passion for work.
So how can you get rid of these destructive gossips? What should the company do to eliminate, if not, minimize these gossips? I suggest that we put duck tape in every employee's mouth or bite your tongue just to say nothing. Just kidding.
I, myself, have been a victim of these gossips in my present workplace. Gossips like I am a loner, a complainer, irritable person and a mean person. People just cannot live without these derogatory remarks against me. But I have live with it for the meantime hoping that they 'all just get tired of it. Fortunately, they have not. They continue to stab me with these gossips. But I don't mind them anymore. I let them feel that I am not affected of their no-truth at all remarks.
Let me site some keys how to handle gossips effectively based on my experience.
Do not take another's comments personally.
Listen to gossips with compassion not with tolerance.
Look for the best in people, not the worst side of them.
Acknowledge people.
Communicate upsets to resolve conflicts.
People have to communicate their upsets and disappointments in an appropriate manner so that progress can be achieved. Also, honest communication is one of the most important keys to building lasting relationships between co-workers and keeping gossip from invading your workplace. Conflicts, differences and arguments must be resolved early to prevent it from spreading like a plague.
Now, finding the exact source of gossip can be one of the best steps in eliminating office gossips. Sources that we all know we started, of course it was intended to be. To avoid gossip to ever occur, you need to be very careful about the information that you share with your co-workers. Keeping a few things for yourself is very important. Some things are better unsaid and we need to be picky about what information needs to be shared and what is not to be.
Try not to be a part of the office gossip. Limit your association with people who gossip. When someone comes and gossips to you, avoid passing it on. Let the gossip end with you. Don't involve in gossip yourself. Don't start to make immoral doings or unnecessary acts within the office and places just outside the company's premises, because this will only start hideous gossip topics and may sometimes put your dignity at risk. So please, prevent awkward situations.
For the management part, I suggest the following.
Be transparent. If the management often hears same old gossips over and over again, they should device a plan how to control the said gossip and investigate the gossip to further eliminates it from spreading. Recognize the harmful gossips from productive gossips and create policies from it.
Be approachable. If one employee complaints regarding gossip involving him/her, lend an ear and keep in touch with that employee. Remember, the company that cares with its workers also does the same for the company. And avoid favoritism.
Conduct regular meetings. Reminding the employees the rules and policies are essential to minimize gossip and in turn be productive. Create policies specifically designed for gossips.
Orientation for new employees. It is very essential for new employees to be informed the strict rules and policies of the company. They need to understand the culture of their new workplace and the personalities of their new colleagues.
Lasting thoughts, an office gossip comes with consequences. It can lead to office suspension when found to be the source of the gossip. Be responsible on what you say or hear in your workplace. Always be neutral on everything. Concentrate on your work and earn your living in an honest manner. Diplomatic approach is the best way when facing these gossips.
Hope my article helped you prevent gossips effectively.