Have you spent time considering the real cost of gossip in the workplace? Or thought, “What’s the big deal anyway? It’s just harmless chatter about other people behind their back.” Or is it? I have a simple solution I use when the gossip happens to be about me, I remind myself:
“ What people say about me is none of my business!”
Problem solved for me. It might not solve the insecurities or righteousness in the other person that triggered the gossip about me, but I feel that truly is none of my business. It’s actually them talking about themselves without knowing it. And they don’t know how foolish they look doing it.
How do you stop it when you hear it?
If a co-worker starts to gossip to you about another co-worker behind their back just stop them for a minute. Then suggest you both contact that co-worker directly right now. This way they can share their concerns directly in front of their face instead of behind their back. Problem solved! As a manager or owner, you are in a position to do this. If you don’t, aren’t you part of the problem?
What if you find yourself gossiping?
I have a solution I use personally to deal with this issue. Whenever I speak about someone who is not present, I imagine they are in the room listening to me speak even if they are not. If I can’t speak about the issue to their face, I shouldn’t speak it behind their back. It also reminds me of the topics I really should just go and speak to that person about!