Rumor Has it?

‘Hey, you know I saw Radhika in the boss’s car yesterday. I think they are seeing each other.’ This rumored and non- confirmed truth about office mates is an OFFICE -GOSSIP. The quote by Douglas Malloch, ‘A biggest liar in the World is, “they say” explains the concept of gossips best.


The term ‘gossip’ holds a bad reputation, so what? How does it matter, it interests us all. C’mon, don’t say that you don’t participate in gossips or never lend your ears to this unconstrained talk that your colleagues do. Humans are curious creatures, especially to know what is going on in other person’s life. As a result, no office is immune to gossips.

To jump on conclusion whether gossiping is really a bad thing, let’s see both good and bad facets of office gossiping. Talking off its plus point first, it gives birth to ‘friendship’ between two strangers. But, not always! All office gossips are not good. Every time, it does not help in making friends. It often breeds bitterness, misunderstanding and resentment between two co-workers. It becomes worse when false rumors are spread to bring one down.  The negativity that comes in office on the pretext of gossips fills the workplace environment with tension, which is bad for everyone. Productivity is bound to fall. Who could work properly in a stressful and backbiting environment of this type?

Since the consequences of office rumors are devastating and no one benefits from them. Here are few effective tips that will protect you from becoming a victim of career-killing office gossips.

  • If a gossiper approaches you to gossip with you, then
    • Walk away.
    •  Directly speak out, “Excuse me, I’m not comfortable talking about…………..”
    • Change the topic.
    •  Directly say, “I don’t like other people talking about me and vice-versa.” One of the best ways to end the conversation.
    • Reply, “Is it so? I hadn’t heard this about Mr./Ms./Mrs. X. Let’s go and ask him/her about it.” You’ll see gossip disappearing.
  • Don’t ever do gossiping yourself. Never! You’re not talking about others for their good. If you genuinely wish to help someone, talk to that person directly.
  • If a person gossips about you:
    • Go to the gossiper directly and say something of this type, “I heard that you have been talking the following rubbish about me.” Summarize the whole story what you heard about yourself. Next to it, say, “I would have appreciated if you had directly come to me with your comments or questions, instead talking with our colleagues/families/friends/, etc.”
    • Otherwise, do it other way round, in an indirect way. Approach the person directly and say,“I don’t know whether you know or not about the gossiping that is going around about me. In case you get to hear of anyone spreading such rumors about me, please ask them to stop. They’re really annoying and disturbing to me.”

Just Remember, “You’re known by the company you keep”. So distance yourself from office gossipers.

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