Why gossiping does not belong in the workplace

Why Gossiping Does Not Belong in the Office

Have you ever had people talk about you behind your back? If you’ve been to high school, chances are this has happened to you on more than one occasion. You probably assume that as soon as you leave your high school years, gossiping will stop and you can move on with your professional life free from this negative aura. But in reality, gossiping often transcends age boundaries and no workplace is immune from it.

Gossiping can take on two forms, positive gossip or negative gossip. Although positive gossip generally does not intend to harm, it still involves reports about other people that may or may not be true. Negative gossip creates the most damage in a workplace. Negative gossip not only involves reports about other people that may not be true, but it often has the intent to harm that person’s professional or personal reputation.

I believe every workplace should have a policy against gossip. As professionals and employees, you have the power to begin eradicating gossip in your workplace. Here is a list of reasons why you shouldn’t partake in gossip in the office.

You Don’t Know if You’re Reporting Accurate Information

As a professional, you have certain standards of integrity and honesty that you should uphold. If you report incorrect information or spread negative rumours about one of your coworkers, you will not be seen as an employee who can be trusted with important confidential matters.

The Person You’re Gossiping to Will Wonder if You Talk That Way About Them

This is basic human courtesy and a rule that I was taught from a very young age. You should never speak ill of others behind their back; not only does it show disrespect for the person you’re talking about, but the person you’re talking to will probably wonder if you talk that way about them behind their back.

Coworkers Will Begin to Distrust You

If you get the reputation for being the office gossiper, other people in the office will become reluctant to interact with you and work with you in a team. They may feel they cannot trust you as a professional.

You Won’t Look Like a Busy Professional

Busy professionals simply don’t have time to gossip. They have too much work piled up on their desk to participate in that kind of behaviour. If you’re an ambitious professional who is determined to climb the corporate ladder, is this the image you really want to give management – the image that you’re not busy enough?

It Decreases Productivity

Gossiping takes your time away from the more important tasks that you should be performing. When you’re at the office, you’re there to perform a job. Whether it’s entering data into a computer or being the mastermind of your company’s new marketing strategy, your job is important and an integral part of your company’s future.

If you have experienced gossiping in your workplace and it has disrupted your morale, efficiency, or your professional reputation, then why not propose to management that a “No Gossip Policy” is implemented in your office.

You can also try some of the strategies I share in “How to Handle Negative Office Gossip“. And find out about gossip at cocktail parties in “5 Dos and Don’t for Fabulous Cocktail Party Etiquette“.

Or start with your social media power of Twitter and click to share this tweet using the hashtag #NoOfficeGossip: “Here are 5 reasons for #NoOfficeGossip from @execimpressions http://bit.ly/1hRUZkA .

[Header image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

About Kara

Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox