According to studies, 14% of everything we say can be classified as gossip and 66% of general conversation in the workplace is devoted to gossip about other employees (Cole & Dalton 2009).
Further studies reveal that a person who does not gossip may be marginalized from their social group, whereas a person who gossips excessively may also be marginalized from their social group (Eggins & Slade 1997).
Millennials (81%) are most likely to gossip at work, followed by Gen Xers (70%), and Baby Boomers (60%).
Here are some helpful tips for dealing with gossip:
1. Recognize the difference between information and gossip. As long as it remains professional, a coworker is perfectly within their rights to tell you about another employee.
2. Stop it in its tracks. When someone says something that is unprofessional about a coworker, have the courage to speak up and say that you aren't comfortable talking about someone else in this manner. (Sometimes easier said than done, I know.)
3. Alter the conversation. Instead of allowing the discussion to go down the gossip route, change it to something more professional.
4. Maintain privacy of your personal life. Unless you feel confident you can trust a particular coworker, the rule of thumb is to never share your personal life with anyone at work.
Watch the video below to learn about how one of our founding fathers changed their behavior of constantly gossiping, to become United State Ambassador to one of our closest allies.
Also, leave me a comment about some additional suggestions you have to dealing with gossip, in or out of the workplace.
Author & Motivational Speaker
Terry is a sought after speaker who believes in the power of a story to motivate, inspire, and help others lead their uncommon and extraordinary lives. By combining his eleven-year cancer journey with his diverse business, athletic coaching, and hostage negotiating expertise, he delivers compelling yet relatable presentations for conferences, on-line events, panels, meetings, and seminars.